At Least R52.9m was Spent on Non-security Upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla Home

By Oliver Ngwenya    21-Mar-2015 04:03 UTC+02:00
‘Nkandlagate’ is back in the spotlight after documents detailing the planning, preparation and budget of the renovations to President Zuma’s home in Nkandla surfaced. – image -

The controversial Nkandla, the President’s KwaZulu-Natal home. The DA believes that he should pay back at least R52.9 million to the State. Image: SABC.

According to the opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma is liable to pay an amount which is at least R52.9 million in compensating the state for the money that was used when his Nkandla home was upgraded. Speaking on Friday, the leader of the DA in parliament, Mmusi Maimane said that his party had analysed the figures and information that were presented by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela when she came to the conclusion that Zuma must repay the money that was used for non-security upgrades at his home.

President Zuma has increasingly faced pressure, particularly from the media and the opposition stemming from the fact that state funds were used in the improvement of his home in what the Public Protector terms non-security upgrades when the intention in the first place had been to improve security at the president’s rural home in KwaZulu-Natal. According to the Public Protector, the President and his family unfairly benefitted from the improvements and he was supposed to repay a portion back to the state. The determination, however, of how much he would have to pay, was left to the Minister of Police, who was part of the security cluster which was in charge of the security upgrades. On the other hand, the president has insisted that he has not done anything wrong and would not be paying back a cent of that money but would await the determination by the police minister.

On Wednesday, the leader of the DA announced that his party had arrived at the figure that the president had to pay back. The party said R7.9-million was for a visitors lounge, R2.3-million for a “fire (swimming) pool” and parking, R1.9-million for a “a social node with a level terrace where a marquee can be erected”, R1.5-million for the construction and renovation of the President’s cattle kraal, R530 950 for a “retaining wall or amphitheatre”, R494 000 for a tuck shop and R30 000 for “mood lighting”. Maimane added that even though his party believed that the non-security upgrades amounted to R52,9 million, this, by no means meant that the rest of the R246 million had been spent legitimately. “The DA remains firmly of the belief that the upgrades to Nkandla, and the 785 percent cost escalation of the project from an initial budget of R27.8 million, represents corruption and wasteful expenditure of the highest order,” Maimane added.

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