Nkandla aircons cost R4m instead of approved R150,000, Special Tribunal hears

Minenhle Makhanya is at the centre of former President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence upgrades, which were overseen by the Department of Public Works at a cost R246 million to the taxpayer. Efforts are under way to recover R155 million from Makhanya.

A general view of former President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal on 22 July 2021. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN - The trial involving Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya has heard details of how air conditioning in three private areas cost R4 million instead of an approved R150,000.

The Special Investigating Unit Special Tribunal hearing sitting in the Pietermaritzburg High Court has continued on Wednesday with evidence from one witness.

Makhanya is at the centre of former President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence upgrades, which were overseen by the Department of Public Works at a cost R246 million to the taxpayer.

Efforts are under way to recover R155 million from Makhanya.

The Special Tribunal hearing being held in-camera has heard how R8.8 million was paid for the tarring of the two roads leading to Zuma’s private residence.

But a police report that had recommended the patrol roads put the cost at only R98,000.

This was some of the evidence from the SIU’s investigator.

SIU Tribunal spokesperson Selby Makgotho said that the trial would hear more evidence on Thursday.

“We still have to hear two more witnesses, but we are finished with the trial for the day and it was confirmed that the witness will wrap up her testimony tomorrow morning.”

Makgotho said the trial was scheduled to sit until Friday but may have to be extended for cross-examination.

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