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Madonsela: Zuma unintentionally misled Parliament

The Police Minister and the Defence and Public Works Departments were also implicated in the report.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her findings on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead on 19 March 2014. Picture:EWN.

PRETORIA - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday found President Jacob Zuma misled Parliament on Nkandla but did so by making a bona fide (good faith) mistake.

She revealed her much anticipated report on upgrades to the president's private KwaZulu-Natal home in Pretoria on Wednesday afternoon.

An aerial view of Nkandla taken in August 2013 which was taken by an aerial mapping company using a high-tech, high-altitude mapping aircraft.

A 2010 aerial view of Nkandla taken off Google Earth.

The Public Protector revealed the upgrades were now estimated to have cost around R246 million. Previous reports suggested the amount was just over R210 million.

Madonsela said government dismally failed to manage service providers and prevented project costs from rocketing from R27 million to the current figure.

She found Zuma and his immediate family improperly benefitted from the upgrades to the homestead because the value of the property increased significantly as a result.

Madonsela ordered Zuma to pay back a percentage of the costs involved in building features such as the swimming pool, the visitor centre and a cattle kraal.

The report also implicated Zuma's architect, Minenhle Makhanya, saying he received R16,5 million from the controversial project.

The protector said Makhanya was de facto project manager for the entire upgrade and was the tail that wagged the government dog.

She said low-level officials may have been intimidated by the architect who had a direct line to Zuma.

Adverse findings were also against the Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, the Department of Defence and the Public Works Department.

Madonsela also found that Zuma violated a part of the ethics code in failing to protect public money.

She said under Cabinet policy agreed on in 2003, all upgrades should have been requested from the state before construction began.

Government, the ANC and Democratic Alliance (DA) are expected to respond to the report on Wednesday afternoon.

Click here to view the full Nkandla report.

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