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MPs arrive in Nkandla and get down to business

An in-loco inspection of Jacob Zuma’s private home in Nkandla is being conducted.

Parliament’s ad hoc committee arrives in Nkandla to conduct an in-loco inspection of President Jacob Zuma’s private home in rural KwaZulu-Natal today. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

NKANDLA - Parliament's ad hoc committee on Nkandla has arrived at the president's home in rural KwaZulu-Natal and will conduct an in-loco inspection of Jacob Zuma's private home.

Last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found the president unduly benefitted from the security upgrades to his Nkandla home.

Members of Parliament (MPs) were driven in convoy from Pietermaritzburg to Nkandla this morning.

Journalists were unable to accompany them onto the property but were instead given a tour of the 21 houses built on the outskirts of the homestead for security personnel.

Police minister Nathi Nhleko says these houses cost R135 million to construct, but it's unclear who authorised the spending.

Nhleko says the security features totaled R50 million and were all necessary for the president's security, including a swimming pool and a visitor's center.

That figure, however, excludes the R20 million consultancy fees.

African National Congress supporters gathered outside Zuma's homestead to show their support for the president and his ruling party MPs and began singing in the rain.

Chairperson of the ANC in this region, Bahle Sibiya, says he agrees with the police minister that Zuma doesn't have to pay a cent for the security upgrades.

"There is no money the president should pay as the police minister said. There is nothing the president must pay."

NHLEKO FORCED TO DEFEND LEGITIMACY OF REPORT

Earlier this week, the police minister was forced to defend the legitimacy of his report in the face of opposition criticism.

Democratic Alliance Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said Nhleko served at the 'president's pleasure'.

"So your mandate arrives from a single person."

But Nhleko 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."