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Hawks investigate woman involved in Nkandla upgrades

Thandeka Nene faces charges of corruption and 18 counts of fraud. She is currently out on R30,000 bail.

FILE: Thandeka Nene was arrested by the Hawks’ anti-corruption task team last week. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Hawks officials are investigating an Umhlanga businesswoman accused of exaggerating her experience as a builder to win government tenders.

Thandeka Nene scored a lucrative construction contract to upgrade President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home, but the current charges against her do not make mention of the Nkandla construction.

She was arrested by the Hawks' anti-corruption task team last week.

The 42-year-old faces charges of corruption and 18 counts of fraud. She is currently out on R30,000 bail.

According to City Press newspaper, Nene's company Bonelena Construction secured contracts worth an estimated R90 million to upgrade President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla.

She is accused of bribing officials to secure tenders to the tune of R180 million.

In addition, she is also accused of presenting counterfeit company tax certificates and forging her qualifications.

NKANDLA COULD END UP COSTING MORE

Zuma's private Nkandla home could end up costing more than the R246 million already spent.

Parliament's ad-hoc committee looking into the scandal has referred the matter back to Cabinet.

Ad-hoc committee chairperson Cedric Frolic denies Parliament is failing to hold the executive to account by passing the ball back to the president and his Cabinet.

"The president is the correct person to take appropriate action. Parliament, as a completely separate arm, does not appoint members of the executive."

Frolic also says this shouldn't be seen as the green light to pour more money into Nkandla.

In its final report, the committee said state security experts must re-evaluate security at the president's home.

Cabinet will have three months to report back to Parliament on the security upgrades and whether more are needed.

But the information will be dealt with by the joint standing committee on intelligence, behind closed doors.

The committee, which is made up of only African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) since an opposition walkout two months ago, has absolved him of any liability.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found some features weren't needed and recommended Zuma repay some of the money.

"It was a huge cash pot, where people simply dived in. They bent all the rules."

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