Nkandla: Zuma could have saved taxpayers money
20 March 2014
Posted by: Author: Fin24
President Jacob Zuma could have saved a substantial amount of public money had he questioned the costs and affordability of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, said Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday.
Madonsela made public a 444-page report after about a two-year investigation into renovations with an estimated cost of about R246m to Zuma's private residence in KwaZulu-Natal.
The report, entitled "Secure in Comfort", found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from renovations such as the visitors’ centre, swimming pool, cattle kraal, chicken run and amphitheatre.
"The president tacitly accepted the implementation of all measures at his residence and has unduly benefited from the enormous capital investment in the non-security installations at his private residence," Madonsela said.
"A substantial amount of public money would have been saved had the president raised his concerns in time."
Zuma was asked to pay back part of the spending not related to security. The Treasury and the South African Police Service will have to work with Zuma to determine a reasonable percentage of these costs.
Madonsela also found that funds to build Nkandla were channelled from two programmes at the department of public works and normal tender procedures had been flouted. This amounted to maladministration.
The president has been given two weeks to respond to the report.
Reacting to the report, the Presidency said Zuma wasconsistently concerned over allegations of impropriety around the procurement process.
It added that Zuma would study the findings and recommendations of the public protector.
This article first appeared on fin24.com.