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Report on Nkandla revamps due in March

The public protector’s report on upgrades made to the president’s home should be complete in March.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is seen at the release of a report in Pretoria, Thursday, 7 February 2013 about maladministration in the justice department regarding the treatment of a whistleblower. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Thursday said her investigation into the extensive renovations and security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home was on track, and that she would have a complete report by the end of March.

Last month, a task team appointed by the Department of Public Works found that no taxpayers' money was used for the renovations, but that the state coughed up R206 million for consultants and security upgrades on the KwaZulu-Natal home.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi announced that reports the public would be paying for 95 percent of the renovations made to Zuma's home were false. However, he said irregularities in the appointment of several service providers and consultants, as well as suspected over-pricing, were being probed.

He said his department's report would not be made public because the president's home is a National Key Point.

Madonsela said her investigation would not rely significantly on the report submitted by the Public Works task team.

The public protector, who has been working on her probe for several months, said her findings would be made public next month.

"We are aiming to [have it] concluded by 31 March, if everything goes according to plan."

Meanwhile, another report by the Auditor General's office is pending.

Renovations to Zuma's homestead saw the inclusion of underground living quarters, a health facility for Zuma and his family, a helicopter pad, houses for the air force and police units, as well as playgrounds and a centre for visitors.

The president insists non-security upgrades were paid for by him and his family.