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Nkandla report: Zuma not liable to pay back the money

The report states the president is not required to pay for security upgrades at Nkandla.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma speaks in Parliament. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - The police minister has announced that President Jacob Zuma is not required to pay back any of the R246 million spent on upgrades to his Nkandla home.

Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has released his long-awaited report into spending at the president's KwaZulu Natal home.

During his address Nhleko said the various investigations into the Nkandla spending debacle, as well as the intrusion into Zuma's private home have been a violation of his rights.

Nhleko adds the Zuma family's safety has been breached because sensitive security detail has been made public.

The Minister went on to say that it is an unprecedented phenomenon the world over, that a president's security and privacy is violated to this degree.

Nhleko says the manner in which this matter has been handled by previous investigations sought to question the credibility and integrity of professionals and experts in their relevant fields.

He says the Public Protector's finding presumes a level of impropriety on the part of the security experts involved.

He says all agree that the security upgrades were necessary and says there is no limit on expenditure for security at executive's homes.

The report states the following:

"Having considered the strategic importance of the homestead, national security interest, relevant legislation, scientific and graphical demonstration arriving at the following carefully considered decision, is inescapable, that;

  • The fire-pool and/or swimming pool is a strategic asset useful in firefighting and therefore is a security feature;

  • The animal enclosure which is made of chicken run, kraal and culvert keeps livestock away from the security infrastructure and therefore these features compliment PIDS security fence, MDB Technology and are security imperatives for fence technology to work. And as such it is a security feature;

  • The soil retention wall and/or "ampitheatre" have a clear security purpose as an emergency assembly point for the family and homestead dwellers. Soil retaining wall is critical in holding soil and substrate thereby reinforcing the soil bank carrying the inner road surface. This area is therefore a necessary security feature;

  • The visitors' centre has to cater for the president's distinguished guests' meetings and local constituency meetings. During such meetings privacy and confidentiality is necessary. There are protocol, physical and information security imperatives that should be observed in hosting such meetings. Therefore the visitors' centre in this regard is a security feature.

PRESIDENT'S HOME EXPLAINED IN DETAIL

The minister went on to explain in lengthy detail a number of features at the president's residence.

He spent a large section of the Nkandla report concentrating on the swimming pool, which Nhleko says was deemed necessary by the Sandf and police to fight fire as the roofs are thatch.

"In the original evaluation security report by the South African Police Service (Saps), the issue of firefighting capability was raised on page four thereof. The open water source, in other words, a fire pool has therefore been a requirement at various stages from design to development and construction by different role players."

He says a reaction vehicle was also sent to test response times.

"The reaction vehicle arrives at least one hour and 10 minutes later and they were not well equipped to deal with any fire."

A video with opera music in the background was then played to demonstrate how the firefighters would extinguish a blaze.

Then the family kraal was discussed with the minister saying that it could not be located elsewhere due to security reasons.

Motion detectors were also strategically placed in the vicinity.

Nhleko also says it's a vital part of the Zulu culture.

"In line with the Zulu definition, a kraal is used for the following purpose. It is used as a storage space, a sacred space, a burial site, a meat eating place, and for purposes of incisions."

Nhleko says like the fire pool, chicken run and the kraal the visitors centre is also a vital section of Nkandla as Zuma is head of state.

"Executive guests have to be received in an area that meets appropriate control, security and protocol norms and standards."

Special attention was also given to soil retention and not just constructing an amphitheatre.

"It would be unimaginable that people would be seated in an aloe garden with irrigation system, this could not be regarded as an amphitheatre under the circumstances."

Nhleko also stated that the President's privacy had been violated.

"It's an unprecedented phenomenon the world over that the President's security and privacy is violated to the degree that we have witnessed in South Africa."

Read the full Nkandla report here.

Many South Africans have taken to Twitter and are reacting to this in the same way they to the explosive Fifa scandal.