Nkandla’s $ 3 Million Plus Visitor’s Lounge Revealed to Special Court

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Through Samkelo Mtshali 39 m ago

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Further revelations of overspending for security improvements at former President Jacob Zuma’s property in Nkandla emerged during the Special Court hearing for the Special Investigative Unit’s request to recover 155 million rand from the architect of the project.

The Special Court of the Department of Justice, currently before Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Kate Pillay, heard yesterday that the budget approved on November 27, 2009 was R 27.8 million.

The SIU is sparing no effort in its efforts to recover the money from Nkandla’s lead architect for security improvements, Minenhle Makhanya, following the inflation of the project price to Rand 246 million.

The witness who testified in court yesterday explained in detail how security upgrades were carried out at the homes of previous presidents and how, in the case of the security aspects at Zuma’s residence, a lot of expense incurred were not authorized and that Makhanya strayed from his mandate.

She said R3 million was paid for the design of the VIP parking lot with motorized garage doors and parking for nine vehicles and the design of the fire pool with a capacity of 45,000 liters of water, in case of fire.

The court heard how 20 additional units for Nkandla’s staff were included and approved by Makhanya, with the witness claiming that the only work allowed would have been in the form of an open tender and followed by due process, which was lacking in this case.

She told the court that staff accommodation was not a security requirement of SAPS and that Makhanya had not obtained the written approval of the general manager and that the excessive designs had not been addressed. ” prior written approval from the general manager.

In this regard, the witness told the court that a quantity surveyor, who was to testify later, would demonstrate to the special court how the variation in the scope of work resulted in financial loss for the state.

The witness also recounted how the ministry paid for every claim he received and did not do any due diligence to verify the work performed and that Makhanya benefited from the doubt in that he had worked without procurement instructions. .

It also appeared from the court that a visitors’ lounge of Rand 3 million was also included in the plan although it was not initially identified by SAPS and SANDF in the initial appraisal report, whereas in addition there was also a control room which cost 2.5 million rand, although it was also not included in the initial assessment report of SAPS and SANDF.

It was also submitted to the court that the request for the visitors’ lounge was a private one, with the argument put forward for the lounge being that the masses of people who visited Zuma had to be closely watched, hence the idea of ​​putting the visitors lounge in a building with the control room.

The SIU witness also told the court that the excessive control room designs were excessive as they included installing R500,000 for the alarm system and R 250,000 for the replacement of doors at checkpoints. entry and exit.

The witness said that SAPS officials later told investigators that they had nothing to do with the visitors’ lounge and that there was no need for a visitors lounge from the point of view. security and that the expenses of this expense should instead be recovered from Makhanya.

The witness also told the court that the cost of the Nkandla Farm Clinic was estimated at R 8 million and that its design and payment had been authorized by Makhanya in his capacity as lead architect. She added that the quantity surveyor would provide more details on this again.


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