Fin24

Madiba, Mbeki got far less than Zuma

2012-10-07 11:10

Johannesburg - The security ­upgrades to the ­private homes of former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki cost significantly less than the upgrades to President Jacob ­Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

As questions mount about the R238m state splurge on Nkandla, it has emerged that the public works department ­budgeted R28.2m for security upgrades to Mandela’s Qunu home in the Eastern Cape.

Mbeki received a R3.5m security upgrade to his private house when he left office.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has confirmed that she is ­investigating the state’s spend on Nkandla.

“Yes, an investigation is under way,” she said yesterday.

Zuma is under fire after City Press revealed last week that the department of public works had spent more than R200m of taxpayers’ money on upgrading his compound in KwaZulu-Natal.

Madonsela’s probe comes at a time when Zuma is campaigning to be re-elected as ANC president in December.

City Press has established that:

» The upgrade of Nkandla was estimated to cost the state R6.4m in August 2010, which means government’s expenditure on Zuma’s private residence increased by 3 600% over two years; and

» Zuma is not alone in benefiting from lavish home upgrades at taxpayers’ expense in a R1 billion splurge that will see Cabinet members and other leaders awash in luxury.

Madonsela said her office ­started taking steps to investigate because of a complaint lodged with her office a few months ago. DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko lodged another complaint this week.

“Because of our resource constraints, the investigation hasn’t gone further than contacting the presidency,” Madonsela said.

“We are asking the presidency who makes what decisions and who is accountable. This ­involves more than just Public Works.”

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi mounted a spirited defence of the Nkandla spending on Friday, saying the state had done the same for its former presidents.

But the security upgrades at the private residences of former presidents FW de Klerk, Mandela and Mbeki have been far more modest (see Page 4).

City Press has obtained a parliamentary answer by former public works minister Geoff Doidge from August 2010, in which he said the Nkandla upgrade would cost R6.4m.

R5.7m was budgeted for professional fees and R700 000 for the “relocation of families, site establishment and construction of bypass roads”.

But a document handed to Parliament in May this year shows that R194m had been paid to contractors on the project and R44m to consultants.

The document was handed to Parliament in a briefing by Public Works’ acting director-general, Mandisa Fatyela-Lindie, and spells out details of much of the spending in the controversial “prestige portfolio” programme.

At Friday’s press conference, Fatyela-Lindie claimed the document didn’t exist.

But it took City Press mere minutes to locate it – and it lifts the lid on details of spending that go further than ­Zuma’s Nkandla compound.

In one project, more than R100m is due to be spent on a single “new VIP residence” in the ministerial complex of Bryntirion in Pretoria. It is not clear who will use it.

The document reveals that ­total upgrades worth R981.2m are in the works at Bryntirion, which houses most Cabinet members and their deputies’ official residences, as well as Zuma’s official state-owned residence, Mahlamba Ndlopfu.

The expenses on Bryntirion include a new perimeter wall, guard houses, dog kennels, entrance roads, a new storm water and sewage system, and gates.

Other projects include:

» R191m on the third phase of an upgrade to Mahlamba Ndlopfu;

» A R51.9m security ­upgrade on the Bryntirion estate; and

» R50.4m on an “executive health facility”.

At Fernwood in Cape Town, where most ministers reside when in Cape Town, Public Works planned to spend R403m on 17 new houses – or R23.7m per house.

Upgrades of R13.7m were in the pipeline for Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s official Bryntirion residence, Oliver Tambo House.

On Friday, Nxesi claimed that expenditure on Zuma was not limited to the Ministerial ­Handbook, which caps security upgrades at R100 000.

“There is a clause there that says there must be security measures which are done by state ­security, and those who do the ­assessment instruct us and we comply,” Nxesi said.

Asked about the other projects listed in the presentation to Parliament, Fatyela-Lindie said expenditure on all prestige projects were confidential matters of national security and she wouldn’t divulge or discuss costs involved.

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said Nkandla and nine other residences of current and former presidents had been declared national key points in April 2010.

The prestige portfolio is currently the focus of a Special Investigating Unit probe.

A Public Works insider said the programme was notorious for circumventing procurement rules and not putting work out to tender, by using “urgency” and “emergency” provisions. - City Press

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Comments
  • arthur.halse - 2012-10-07 11:22

    Zuma, the Chosen one. NOT!!!!

      george.outremer - 2012-10-07 14:34

      The question in my mind is: What are the opposition parties going to do to get this information out to the people who vote the ANC in? This cavalier attitude to spending (and plunder of state coffers) by the ruling party cannot be allowed to continue unchecked.

  • christiaan.vanvuuren.9 - 2012-10-07 12:02

    Wow, Zuma thinks he is a king and clearly not a president. The clear fact that previous presidents were nowhere near as greedy makes me wonder why now? What has changed? Surely all of this spending is unnecessary... Maybe Zuma and co. Just dont really care...

  • chris.vandermerwe.560 - 2012-10-07 12:12

    His small contribution should be forfeited to the state and then the property must be sold in order to recover the money, after which it could go towards all pensioners thus providing a better retirement for more people.

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-10-07 12:15

    I have suddenly developed this rather silly notion that I am a legal tax-paying citizen of South Africa, and therefore I have a say in how our tax money should be spent. I submit that all cabinet ministers move into one of the dilapidated high-rise buildings in the Jhb CBD. You know, the ones that are considered safe and ok enough for poor people to live in. And don't worry JZ, these poor people sleep between 15 and 20 to a room. So there is ample room for you, your wives, mistresses, children (legitimate and illegitimate) and your body guards and spokesperson. Maybe if these arrogant selfish demi-gods experienced how the majority of the people are living, they will prioritise those needs accordingly. I have one question for Jacob - how do you justify spending any money at all on the upgrade of your already luxurious homes (3 or 4 of them) when a single child in this country has to go to bed on an empty stomach? You sir, are not presidential material. You are a big fat twat.

      trevor.myburgh.12 - 2012-10-08 11:39

      And Shower head

      carol.l.friend - 2012-10-08 14:54

      hi five my friend

  • Sakhiwo - 2012-10-07 12:27

    Pls we want an outcome b4 December

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-10-07 12:42

    Wow, thank god we don't have any poor people in this country who could use this money. And the R675 billion the people wouldn't need either. The struggle was over in 1994 right, now its the party!!! Bob is the best coach ever. Amandla!!! Viva anc!!! Ubuntu!!!! Viva viva viva!!!!!!!

  • heathway.master - 2012-10-07 12:52

    History clearly records that those despicably evil presidents pre 1994, all retired in very modest houses. FW de Klerk, PW Botha ( Modest house in George ) BJ Vorster. Probably the one of the greatest presidents this country ever had, Jan Smuts retired in a corrugated iron and wood, very simple house which is still standing in Irene, Pretoria. Just who does this uneducated, completely and hopelessly incompetent , Zuma, with a list of alleged criminal offences to his name, actually think he is. It will be a momentous day in SA politics when this arrogant, pumped up upstart, populist President finally disappears off the SA political scene. At this point in time, he must rank as the least competent President this country has ever had to endure over the countries entire history. His only objective in life is self enrichment, and fiddling while the country burns, so as not to harm his image in anyway, and hopefully be elected for another disastrous 5 years, to further lead ( what a complete joke ) this country down the road to poverty and unemployment, lack of education, lack of medical facilities, lack of service deliveries, lack of care for the plight of its citizens, etc etc etc

  • lums.zindela - 2012-10-07 13:10

    Thieving all the way. No we can't afford anymore of your thieving. Shameless thieves you're stealing yourselves filthy rich while the nation die of hunger. I hope the law will catch up with you.

  • yvonne.joseph.1612 - 2012-10-07 13:21

    I will never understand how a person with grade 5 became our State President and then to earn the money he is earning is criminal. When making speeches overseas, it becomes quite embarrassing listening to him. Eish!

      edgar.mooi - 2012-10-07 17:04

      Im happy dt at least there s black foreman of the country hu cn olso use the country s money ,long back we were oppressed in a way dt we cnt know wt is done on the presdent house. As on u if u a educated enough be the presdent i dont even think u cn compare ur education to knowledge an understanding of south Africa history like him. Im happy dt this uneducated president hv go to exile to fight for education dt we a getting 2day.

  • pjbadenhorst - 2012-10-07 13:29

    And what Pres. Julius takes home will make Zuma's winnings pale by comparison.

  • thembisa.nozombile - 2012-10-07 14:27

    *sighs and gets headache tablets* This dude needs to go and it has to happen soon. What can South Africa do, people like myself who don't hold influential positions, to speedy that process?

      rob.bentley.16 - 2012-10-08 06:27

      Thembi, you can vote - with your head, do what every country in the west does, if you not doing a proper job as president and are stealing from the people - then we change government and not the same party. One party staying in power to long tends to become power and corruption mad. Vote another party in..

  • William - 2012-10-07 14:32

    The mind boggles at all the remarks that it is time for the ruling party to go ... Make no mistake, it is the people who KEEP THEM THERE. And it is up to the people to get them out of there. Now go figure ...

  • matshane.seleko - 2012-10-07 14:37

    Such an astronomical amount of money spent on certain segments of society while the nation is told there's no money for this and that,with rural areas left far behind in terms of development.Hundreds and hundreds of service delivery protests serve as testimony to the nation's disatisfaction.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-10-07 14:44

    I have said it before and will say it again Money burns a hole in zuma's pocket. The only thing he sees is woman and RANDS AND CENTS he cant see past that. At night he spends sleepless hours thinking about his next money project. The dept of public works is the most corrupt dept in government, so nxesi and mac the motor mouth are just as corrupt, more corrupt for sticking up for this sneaky spiteful Jz. I certainly hope people will wake up and see him for what he is just a travelling saleman who can dance and sing oh and wave his spear.

  • buti.lembe - 2012-10-07 15:10

    Dear Zuma. I'm quite sure that you don't like and wish to lead our country in a near better feature. Tell us what's your favourite money or women? Frm A TAXPAYER B.L

  • alan.davis.5249 - 2012-10-07 17:06

    No wonder the poor get poorer and shanty towns are increasing. Will Zuma and his ministers live in shacks to save the economy of this land......I don't think so. Yet , if they were elected into power, can they be elected out? This country NEEDS people in power who give a damn about this country and NOT their own luxury !

  • alan.davis.5249 - 2012-10-07 17:15

    Talk economy....Before Zuma and before ANC got their seats on the gravy train... SA had a surplus in the budget (within living memory)! NEVER AGAIN !!! THANKS TO THE ABOVE !

  • mathivha.obert - 2012-10-07 21:07

    Just put Zuma on the ANC’s own leadership barometer known as “Through the eye of a needle” I assure you his deeds won’t pass the grade to an independent assessor free of patronage! Refer to page 4-5, particularly paragraph 41 in its entirety here http://www.ancyl.org.za/docs/political/2009/Through%20the%20eye%20of%20a%20needlen.pdf We clearly don’t need leaders who are easily taken away by privileges attached to their office of authority to an extent that they are not ashamed to ironically exploit controversial apartheid laws such as National Key Points Act & discredited Ministerial Handbook in order to maximize office benefits without any ethical considerations. Many of those I call my leaders have been caught in scandals & blunders related to feeding their own selfish appetite for extravagant lifestyles. We really need humbled servant leaders who understand & respect people's needs & aspirations, leaders with excellent integrity, skills & capabilities to carry the hopes of millions who are still trapped in chronic inter-generational poverty. Leaders of self-esteem, those who respect money and spare no appetite for extravagant lifestyles as this hit hard on their moral & ethical standards. Leaders who always guard against the dangers of self-gratification & inflated egos.

  • carol.l.friend - 2012-10-08 14:52

    no wonder more than half of south africans are starving to death - may it be due to no money, no health care, no roof over their heads.

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