Nkandla ad hoc committee concludes work in KZN

The busy schedule included an in-loco inspection of the president’s homestead and lengthy deliberations.

A view of the homestead of South African President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla in January 2014. Picture: AFP.

PIETERMARITZBURG - A special parliamentary committee looking into the Nkandla spending debacle has concluded its work in KwaZulu-Natal following a busy week that included an in-loco inspection of the president's homestead and lengthy deliberations.

Ruling party Members of Parliament (MPs) claim Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's home has misled the country.

They agree that the cost of the project was grossly inflated, but disagree that Zuma benefited unduly and should be held accountable.

African National Congress (ANC) deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude says, "As members of the ANC, we have the responsibility to tell the truth, and to follow where the money is. That is what we did and that is what we are going to do."

At the same time, opposition MPs say they want Zuma to take responsibility for the money that was spent on features such as the swimming pool and cattle kraal, which formed part of the R246 million project.

They've also rejected the ANC's argument that there's no link between Zuma's homestead and the costly barracks that were built right next door.

Democratic Alliance (DA) chief whip John Steenhuisen says, "Senior Superintendent [LF] Linde in his letter is specific and explicit that this was being done at the direct request of the president. So for the first time during this whole process we see the president's hand in what was going on in Nkandla. It makes it a lot more difficult for him to turn around and say 'I didn't know and this was happening in the background without my knowledge'."