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Nkandla: Nhleko faces more scrutiny over police letter

The 2009 letter shows how Zuma requested the removal of Saps members from his property.

Parliament’s ad-hoc committee have arrived in Nkandla where they will be conducting an in-loco inspection of President Jacob Zuma’s private home in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

DURBAN - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko will have to explain why a letter from a senior superintendent appears to confirm there is a link between the President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home and the construction of costly houses for security personnel.

A Parliamentary ad-hoc committee, looking into the controversial security upgrades at Zuma's home, will recall the minister to answer questions about the letter and other issues related to the spending fiasco.

The 2009 letter from a senior superintendent in the police service to officials from the Department of Public Works shows the President requested the removal of police members from his property.

The African National Congress said the R135 million housing project on the outskirts of Zuma's property is not part of his security bill.

The letter goes on to say that to cater for the needs of those officers, bachelor flats had to be added to a needs assessment document.

Chairperson of the committee, Cedric Frolick said one of the reasons why the Police Minister is being recalled is to provide clarity on the letter.

"What were communications lines, for instance, with the president? And since when does divisional commissioner represent the president in terms of putting letters together and then referring to the name of the president?

"We must be very, very careful before we say there are serious allegations against the president."

Members of Parliament also want Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi to appear before the committee next week.

They have until the 7 August to complete their assessment.

But opposition parliamentarians have been pushing for Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, Zuma and his architect Minenhle Makhanya to also appear before the committee.

The Democratic Alliance's (DA) John Steenhuisen said, "I can see what the tactic here is. It's to shut this down as quickly as possible, not bring players before the committee who are not in control of Luthuli House and of the Presidency. That's why we know we're going to get the Minister of Public Works and the Minister of Police back."

Last year, Madonsela found the president unduly benefited from non-security installations, which formed part of a R246 million project to upgrade his home.

Ruling party MPs have since accused the Public Protector of misleading the country with her report.

They have rejected words such as 'amphitheatre' and 'visitors centre' to describe some of the features installed at the president's home.

MADONSELA UNDER ATTACK

Madonsela continues to come under attack from the ANC.

ANC MP Thandi Mahambehlala lashed out at Madonsela for "misleading the country" with her Nkandla report, which she said has tarnished government's image and credibility.

Her colleague Mmamoloko Kubayi said South Africans had been exposed to "misleading terminology".

"I cannot even imagine how the word 'amphitheatre' was used for that place."

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said Madonsela should explain her findings to the committee.

"If there are some disconnects with her report, and there might be some, then we need to hear from her."

Ruling party MPs have reiterated the president is not secure in comfort, as Madonsela's report suggests.