The report on the renovations at the private residence of President Jacob Zuma is almost complete. Speaking to journalists in Pretoria, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said: “I regret to say we have not yet concluded the report. Some things have to be tied up.” She explained: “There’s just a few things that we need to tie up and as soon as we’ve done that we will share a provisional report with the affected parties.”
Though the government has done an investigation into this matter, the office of the Public Protector is also conducting an independent report into who funded the upgrades at Zuma’s home. More than R 200 million is said to have been spent on ensuring the safety of the first family though there is no known immediate threat which makes the expensive upgrades necessary.
It is alleged that South African taxpayers footed the bill for the high-security, chalet-style compound. According to a report by the Public News Hub, the price tag for the landscaping contract was set at around R 14.3 million. It is not clear how the landscaping budget fits in with the presidential security concerns.
South Africans are curious to hear what Thuli Madonsela will uncover in her investigation but many people wonder if her report can be relied on. Madonsela disclosed that she would not divulge some of the details in order to ensure the safety and security of key individuals in the report. In particular, Madonsela will not disclose specific details of the security system put in place.
Thuli Madonsela insisted that there was some outstanding information even though, on Monday, her office confirmed that all the required information had been received. The South African public must brace itself for another wait which is expected to last at least two weeks.