Nhleko dismisses Madonsela’s Nkandla report
Nhleko says there's no evidence to support Madonsela's findings that the Nkandla project cost R246 million.
PIETERMARITZBURG - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says there's no evidence to support the Public Protector's findings that the Nkandla project costs R246 million.
Nhleko presented his report to a special parliamentary committee sitting in KwaZulu-Natal today.
In May, the minister released the report which found President Jacob Zuma did not have to repay a cent for the multimillion rand upgrades at his private home, because all of the features, including a swimming pool, were built for the President's security.
Nhelko has fielded a range of questions from MPs about his report.
One of the big issues he had to address was the actual cost of the project.
"I think I said it from the beginning… I do not know where the R246 million comes from and I can only talk about figures with a point of reference to issues of authority."
Nhleko's report found just over R50 million was spent on security features, however this figure excludes the R20million on consultant fees.
A further R135 million was allocated for houses for security personnel on the outskirts of the President's home.
The public protector's report however puts the total cost of the project at R246 million, a figure that includes the estimated cost of completing phase 3 of the project.
NHLEKO FORCED TO DEFEND LEGITIMACY OF REPORT
The minister has been forced to defend the legitimacy of his report in the face of opposition criticism.
Democratic Alliance Chief Whip John Steenhuisen says Nhleko serves at the 'president's pleasure'.
"So your mandate arrives from a single person."
But Nhleko has hit back at his critics.
"I serve the executive. I'm appointed by the president, so are judges, so is the public protector and so are many heads of institutions in this country."
Meanwhile, Parliamentarians won't be accompanied by security experts when they visit Zuma's private home in Nkandla tomorrow.
Committee Chairperson Cedric Frolick says MPs will now see the features for themselves.
"The committee will assist the process if we go the president's house ourselves to go see what is happening there and why the different interpretations exist around those features."