SIU replies in full to Nkandla architect

The SIU is suing Minenhle Makhanya for a R155 million, saying he must pay for overspending on Nkandla.

The SIU is suing Minenhle Makhanya for a R155 million, saying he must pay for overspending on Nkandla. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has now confirmed that it has replied in full to a request from Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya, for all the documents relating to how money was spent on President Jacob Zuma's home.

The SIU is suing Makhanya for a R155 million, saying he must pay for the overspending on Nkandla.

He then demanded 40 documents he said are needed to mount his defence.

The investigating unit has now filed 23 documents in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court and says the rest are either already in the Makhanya's possession or irrelevant to his case.

His attorneys had said it would be impossible for the case to continue without the papers as they explain where the money was spent.

They say that Makhanya is not responsible for the overspending and is prepared to state under oath who made the final decisions on Nkandla.

But the SIU says Makhanya authorised installations that were outside the scope of the security measures recommended by the police and the defence force.

The Nkandla upgrades came under heavy criticism in a report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in March.

Madonsela's report said Zuma had "benefited unduly" from some of the upgrades, which included a cattle enclosure and amphitheatre, and should pay back some of the costs of the unnecessary renovations.

The report also implicated 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.