Gwede Mantashe speaks up about Nkandla

Gwede Mantashe has lashed out at Nathi Nhleko's statements that more money must be spent on Nkandla.

FILE: ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe has lashed out at Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's statements that more money must be spent on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The City Press is reporting that Mantashe said Nhleko's statement was reckless and he must explain why more tax money is needed.

The Public Works Department has also distanced itself from Nhleko's claim that he doesn't know who authorised the construction of 21 three bedroom houses on land just a kilometre away from Nkandla.

Mantashe has told the City Press that the only time the Nkandla issue would be put to rest would be once Zuma stepped down from office.

The newspaper reports there were heated exchanges among delegates at this week's alliance summit involving the ANC, South African Communist Party and Congress of South African Trade Unions, where Paul Mashatile's suggestions for the ANC to pay for the non-security-related upgrades at Nkandla were shot down.

The alliance partners resolved that government needed to move fast to ensure the matter was finalised, which entailed holding accountable those found guilty of inflating costs of upgrading Zuma's homestead, and ensuring the money was recovered.

Mantashe says the failure to go beyond the "more money" phrase had only served to irritate the public further and Nhleko had a clumsy way of stating his intentions.

He says the police minister must explain what 'more money' means in real terms with regards to whether something new was going to be built or maintaining an existing structure.

In March 2013 Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her Nkandla report.

Madeonsela found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the R246 million upgrades to his private home.

She recommended that the president pay back a portion of the money spent on the upgrades.