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Mandela's family dismisses Nhleko claim of Qunu fire pool

The police minister defended the Nkandla fire pool, stating that Mandela’s Qunu home also had a fire pool.

FILE: Nelson Mandela was laid to rest in Qunu, Eastern Cape. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Nelson Mandela's family has dismissed the police minister's claim that the late statesman's house has a fire pool.

Last year the Public Protector found President Jacob Zuma unduly benefitted from the non-security features built at his private home in Nkandla, including a fire pool and a cattle kraal.

But Minister Nkosinathi Nhelko said all of the features were there for Zuma's security.

Nhleko defended his report into the Nkandla spending debacle this week by saying that even Mandela's Qunu home had a fire pool.

But the Times newspaper is reporting Mandela's daughter Makaziwe and two of his grandchildren say it's simply an ordinary swimming pool.

Ndaba Mandela is quoted as saying the pool was built between 2001 and 2002 with his grandfather's money.

A 2013 Public Works document revealed R28.2-million was spent on Madiba's Qunu home, including electric fencing, a lift, automatic gates and an alarm system.

TWENTY-ONE HOUSES

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

The minister on Tuesday answered questions on his report, which cleared Zuma of any responsibility to pay for upgrades to his private home, where he stressed only about R200 million was spent 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.