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'Zuma name used to influence Nkandla upgrades'

The final SIU report says upgrades done by Zuma’s architect were ‘grossly unreasonable’.

FILE: The SIU Nkandla report also says Zuma was enriched by the upgrades because of the increase in the value of his home. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The final SIU report in Nkandla says President Jacob Zuma's name was used to influence decisions and speed up the work on his private home.

The report summarises Zuma's response to questions put to him about influencing the choice of contractors and some of the work. The report has already been given to members of Parliament's ad-hoc committee on Nkandla, which is due to sit next week.

The final report was completed last month, when the SIU launched a civil claim for damages to claim back R155 million from Zuma's architect, Minenhle Makhanya, who is defending the action.

It describes the upgrades done by Makhanya as "indefensible extravagance" and "grossly unreasonable".

It also says Zuma was enriched by the upgrades because of the increase in the value of his home.

Zuma told the SIU he just introduced his architect Makhanya to officials so they'd be aware of the plans he already had to renovate Nkandla.

If officials were under the impression that he was the source of any undue pressure, they could have reported this to a constitutional body set up to deal with such conduct, Zuma told the SIU.

Zuma does admit expressing frustration at the lack of progress in the work and the disruption this caused.

'SPECIAL SITUATION, SPECIAL CLIENT'

The SIU report quotes one official as saying, "It's a very special situation, with a special client and therefore, we acted specially."

The report says rules and procedures weren't followed because officials were confident their actions would not only not be challenged but would be supported and endorsed.

In the report, Zuma denies putting undue pressure on officials or influencing the choice of contractors.

Zuma issued a proclamation for the SIU to probe aspects of the security upgrades to his home in December last year.

The report also says the police should carry out a further investigation of security at Nkandla as soon as possible.

MADONSELA'S NKANDLA REPORT FINDINGS

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla report also implicated Makhanya, saying he received R16,5 million from the controversial project.

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

Makhanya became the project manager despite having no security qualifications or clearance.

Madonsela found Makhanya's assumption of multiple and conflicting roles as principle agent, the president's architect and procurer of some of the subcontractors which placed him in a position where the advice he gave was tainted by conflict of interest and was not in the public interest.

Her report also found there were no open tenders and a dismal failure by government to control service providers.

"We are talking about R250 million of the whole project. If you isolate it from that project, everything that was in the security evaluation report, you'll find that the bulk of the money was spent on things that were not on the list, or the list had recommended something smaller," she told reporters at the unveiling of her report.

The report further states that extra features such as a swimming pool should never have been built.

"It is common cause that in the name of security, government built for the President and his family in his private residence, a visitor's centre, a cattle kraal, a chicken run, and an amphitheathre, among others. The President and his family clearly benefitted from this."

Madonsela found Zuma violated an ethics code by failing to protect public money.

She asked Zuma to account to Parliament and discipline some of his ministers, and to pay back some of the money spent on Nkandla.