'No state funds used for Nkandla'
Thulas Nxesi is adamant no state funds were used for the upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla residence.
JOHANNESBURG - Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi says no state funds were used to build President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal.
The minister is at this hour giving details on the government task team's probe into the scandal.
Ministers making up the security cluster are also expected to give some feedback.
Nxesi insists Zuma didn't ask for the security upgrades and also spoke of the possibility that consultancy fees may have been inflated.
He said the area has a violent history and there have been three prior attacks on the homestead.
The minister said the security upgrades were implemented as per recommendations by the South African Police Service and the South African National Defence Force.
He said allegations that the president abused state funds are unfounded, saying R71 million was spent on the actual security installation and R135 million was spent on operational needs and basic services.
"No state funds were used to build the president's private residence. It's important to understand this process because this is where the ultimate responsibility for the upgrade lies."
He said parliamentary processes delayed the release of the report.
"Parliamentary and cabinet processes that had to be followed as well as the security concerns have delayed the obligation to account for public funds."
The report was scheduled to be made public earlier this month but was postponed in the wake of the death of former president Nelson Mandela.
It was originally classified top secret, but cabinet decided at its last meeting of the year that it should be made public.