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Nkandla report to be released

Public Protector is conducting her own investigation into spending at Nkandla.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is conducting her own investigation into spending on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Protector's office says it now has all the information it needed to release a report into government's spending on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residence in two weeks time.

The report which was classified as 'top secret' by Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, investigates how government spent over R200 million on an upgrade to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu Natal.

There's been much controversy over this with the Public Works Department adamant that Nxesi followed all the right procedures when he classified the report.

Madonsela is in the process of conducting her own investigation into the spending.

Madosela's spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said, "The Public Protector finally has access to the outstanding information. She is going to evaluate it to see if she has the right information."

Earlier this month, Nxesi gave Madonsela a copy of a classified investigation report into the spending but said it would still remain secret.

There's been a huge outcry over Nkandla with claims officials are protecting President Jacob Zuma.

Earlier this month, Madonsela told Talk Radio 702 that there were some details she would not be able to reveal.

"When it comes to the kind of detail, not about money, but about security measures that may compromise the security involved, we will not provide it."

Nxesi classified the report in June after it was considered by a joint standing committee in Parliament behind closed doors.

He commissioned a task team in 2012 from the justice and security cluster to investigate claims of irregularities in the use of public funds.

'IRRATIONAL SPENDING'

Meanwhile, earlier this month the Department of Public Works released 42 files with over 12,000 pages on the Nkandla homestead upgrade to the Mail & Guardian (M&G).

Investigator at AmaBhungane, M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, Craig McKune, spoke to Talk@9 about what their findings.

McKune said while the documents were incomplete, there were signs of irrational spending decisions since 2009 when Zuma became President.

"Zuma was directly involved but we're not sure what his involvement was because those documents are missing."

McKune added quantity surveyors were sidelined and costs increased as there was a sense of urgency and secrecy.

Money was also shifted from other programmes to accommodate the unbudgeted spending.

The M&G reported that the cost of the Nkandla homestead ballooned from a R27.8m plan in 2009 to a projected total of about R270m in October 2012.

The official expenditure as of June this year was R210.5m. This did not appear to include bills yet to be paid.

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