Nkandla's 21 houses for security staff still a mystery

Nathi Nhleko’s report on Nkandla revealed that R135 million was spent on 21 houses for security personnel.

FILE: Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - A month after releasing his controversial Nkandla report, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko still can't explain who authorised spending R135 million to construct 21 houses for security personnel.

The minister yesterday answered questions on his report, which cleared President Jacob Zuma of any responsibility to pay for upgrades to his private home, where he stressed only about R200 million was spend on the upgrades and not the R240 million often discussed in the media.

Nhleko further clarified that only R50 million of the total spend was on security features on Zuma's house.

The 21 houses built for police and defence force personnel alongside Zuma's compound at R6 million per unit stand empty to this day.

Nhleko can't explain why they were built.

"I need to establish how we came to the 21 houses, what actually transpired and what the logic was."

The minister also wants to understand why that expenditure was attributed to the upgrades to Zuma's house.

"Who took the decision of the R135 million spent on the construction of those houses, should form part of what we now call the security upgrades."

Nhleko stood by his report saying he's willing to defend it in court if necessary.

WATCH: Nhleko: Zuma still doesn't have to pay for Nkandla


During the same briefing, the minister denied that he was attacking the judiciary when he told Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) managers that he believed it was becoming common place for judges to produce tailoured judgements.

Eyewitness News revealed last week that Nhleko called a meeting with the watchdog body's senior managers in March where he made the comments about judges.

Nhleko declined to explain exactly what he meant when he said "characters are meeting with sections of the judiciary to produce certain judgements."

He did however insist he was not suggesting judges were corrupt.

"I'm not attacking anybody; I'm not attacking the judiciary for that for example. I was just stressing a particular point in terms of how all of us need to objectively behave to situations as and when they pop up."

Legal aid experts have described Nhleko's comments as contemptuous.