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Nkandla inspection: Evidence of poor workmanship found

ANC MP Cedric Frolick says costs of the upgrades were inflated and those responsible must be held accountable.

The clinic facility at President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla was inspected by Parliament ad hoc committee during a site inspection. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

PIETERMARITZBURG - Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) on Parliament's Nkandla ad hoc committee have found evidence of poor workmanship on their visit to President Jacob Zuma's homestead in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal.

They conducted an in-loco inspection of Zuma's estate, a costly housing project for security personnel on the outskirts of the property and a clinic in the vicinity.

The Public Protector found Zuma unduly benefited from the R246 million project.

But Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko said Zuma doesn't have to repay a cent because the security measures were necessary for his protection.

According to Nhleko's calculations, just over R50 million was spent on security features at the president's home.

A further R20 million was spent on consultants.

Nhleko has found the barracks and clinic outside the president's property cost R135 million to build.

Chairperson of the ad-hoc committee and ANC member Cedric Frolick said the costs of the upgrades had been grossly inflated and the officials responsible must be held accountable.

Frolick has also addressed questions around one of the more contentious issues to come out of the Nkandla saga, the so-called firepool.

"I'm satisfied there's a pool. It's a water resource that can be utilised for fighting fires among others, but it's also a recreational facility."

The Democratic Alliance said the inspection confirmed the president unduly benefited from the upgrades, while the Inkatha Freedom Party believes the project reveals gross mismanagement of public funds.

The IFP's Narend Singh, who is part of the committee, says, "That amount has been grossly exaggerated so what we saw was taxpayer's money being wasted because of poor supervision by the Department of Public Works."

MPs TO DELIBERATE ON THE FINDINGS

The committee will deliberate on what they saw when they meet again today.

MPs have agreed that money was wasted on the Nkandla project, but the ruling party and opposition politicians disagree on whether the President should be held accountable.

Frolick said the public works officials involved in the project and the contractors should take the fall.

"We respect the Public Protector and the importance of that office irrespective of who occupies that office, however, as a parliamentary committee, we've the right as Members of Parliament to arrive at our own conclusions."

The DA said the upgrades exceeded the minimum requirements to secure a president's home.

MMUSI MAIMANE SLAMS NKANDLA FEATURES

After viewing Zuma's homestead Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says calling features like the swimming pool and amphitheatre 'security related' is an insult to the people of South Africa.

Maimane says the so-called 'security features' amount to a presidential house that has been rebuilt using taxpayer's money.

"They added items under the instruction of the president's own architect to say 'let us upgrade all these features and make a presidential palace'."