'Zuma enriched by Nkandla security upgrades'

The SIU report also blames Zuma’s private architect for spiralling costs.

President Jacob Zuma

CAPE TOWN - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has found President Jacob Zuma has been enriched by the security upgrades to his private Nkandla residence.

But it says Zuma's private architect, Minenhle Makhanya, as the person directly responsible for the costs spiralling from an estimated R27 million to more than R246 million.

The SIU has launched a civil claim against Makhanya for R155 million in damages, an action he's defending.

The SIU's final report, which Zuma submitted to Parliament on Thursday, also puts the spotlight on state officials who flouted the rule book and ignored proper procedures.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report, released in March this year, revealed Zuma improperly benefitted from security upgrades at his Nkandla home.

The protector called on the president to pay back a "reasonable part" of the upgrades which do not constitute security.

MADONSELA'S FINDINGS

The Public Protector said state officials had "failed dismally" to follow supply chain management, which resulted in "scope creep".

"President Zuma's immediate family members benefitted improperly. He should have applied his mind to upgrades and asked questions about them."

Her report has adverse findings against the South African Police Service, Department of Defence and the Department of Public Works.

"The excessive expenditure added significant value to the president's private property."

Madonsela further found that things such as the helipad and clinic should have been built in a way to benefit the community.

She further charged the main "money guzzlers" were not the security upgrades, but the private ones.

She slammed Zuma's architect, saying he was the tail that wagged the government dog.

Madonsela asked why a private architect became the de facto project manager as he was the "go-between".

Makhanya allegedly made R16,5 million from the project, the protector revealed.

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

The protector added government created a "licence to loot situation".

While delivering her findings, she used words such as "excessive" and "unconscionable" to describe the spending.

She recommended that ministers involved in the debacle be reprimanded.