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Architect's role in Nkandla questioned

Madonsela's court papers have revealed a private architect was involved in the Nkandla upgrades.

President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: City Press.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's explosive court documents have shone the spotlight on a private architect involved in the upgrade of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home.

Yesterday, Madonsela revealed the extent to which her Nkandla investigation was allegedly obstructed by government in a stinging 24-page affidavit.

The affidavit was filed in response to the state security cluster's court application on Friday to interdict her from releasing her preliminary findings into the R200 million upgrades at Nkandla.

The cluster said it needed more time to assess whether the president or national security was put at risk by the findings in the report.

The Public Protector's office was granted a postponement of the hearing in order to allow Madonsela more time to reply.

Madonsela said her office had to fend off several separate attempts by ministers to stop the investigation.

She said ministers wanted her to hold off until similar investigations were conducted by the Auditor-General's office and the Special Investigating Unit.

The state is now expected to file its replying papers before its application is heard in court on Friday.

Madonsela has made several damning revelations and allegations in her court papers including that government tried to stop her Nkandla investigation.

She has also raised questions about the private architect hired by the Department of Public Works to oversee the entire project.

Madonsela asks how the state security cluster can claim her report contains security breaches when an architect without security experience or clearance was involved in every detail of the upgrade.

There are also now reports questioning how much money was paid to the architect.

She says she has personally made sure her report contains no security leaks and has used the Constitution to remind government that she is in charge of her investigation.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have criticised the cluster's court application as a delay tactic.

Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele has called on South Africans to stand together and defend the office of the Public Protector.

Ramphele said the ANC is undermining Madonsela's office and this wasn't the first time the ANC had interfered with investigations.

"We've seen them attacking the Scorpions and in the end abolishing them. This is now a major threat to the office of the Public Protector."

The Public Protector's office explains below how provisional reports are handled.

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