South African president, Jacob Zuma, has stated that he will provide a report on the Nkandla controversy within the next 30 days.
President Zuma has recieved a provisional copy of the Special Investigating Unit’s report on the much spoken-about upgrades to the president’s homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. He has since addressed National Assembly speaker, Baleka Mbete, expressing his intention to respond thoroughly with regards to the matter.
“I am now in reciept of the provisional report requested from the head of the Special Investigating Unit. While the report is still provisional, it has provided me with the insight I require in order to give consideration to the matter, having equal regard to the other reports to which I allude in my earlier correspondence,” said the president today. “Accordingly, I am intent on providing you, Madam Speaker, with a comprehensive and final report within the next 30 days.”
The controversy shrouding the upgrades of the president’s homestead in Nkandla stems from the fact that the upgrades were commissioned at R27 million, but somehow the cost escalated to upwards of R247 million, of which the taxpayer contributed the majority.
The upgrades have since been investigated by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, the Justice, Crime prevention and Security cluster of cabinet and the Special Investigating Unit.
The Public Protector found in her report, titled, “Secure in Comfort,” that President Jacob Zuma and his family had benefited unduly from the R246 million “security” upgrade on his homestead at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal. During the upgrade, a pool, a cattle kraal, and an amphitheatre were built.
Madonsela issued her 450 page report on the upgrade to the president and allowed him fourteen days to both study the report and respond to it formally, in parliament. President Zuma did not breach the time frame and responded duly, however he did not make any comprehensive commitments in his statement.
President Zuma addressed the Speaker on April 1 this year, indicating that he would respond in detail to the reports once he was in possession of the Special Investigation Unit’s report. He stated that he would consider the Public Protector’s report alongside both that and the inter-ministerial task team’s reports, in order to formulate a response.
As he is now in possession of the preliminary SIU report, he is in a position to provide a formal report.