The surprise in South Africa is not that President Jacob Zuma will not have to “pay back the money” for the R246-million upgrades to his Nkandla homestead…but the lengths Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko took to justify his decision at not finding the President liable for costs.
Minister Nhleko delivered his Nkandla Report on Thursday, just a day after the President, while speaking in Parliament, mocked those who have been concerned with the controversy over the millions spent on his home. (Watch video above.)
The Minister’s Report concluded that the “firepool”, the new cattle kraal, chicken coop and culvert, amphitheatre and visitors’ centre were all deemed necessary for the safety and security of the homestead…and therefore the President is not liable.
To prove that these are all “security features” the Minister surprised the gathered media and television viewers with a demonstration on exactly how to use a firepool, and why Nkandla needs a kraal and an ampitheatre! (Watch below.)
His efforts to convince were almost as surprising as President Zuma’s own outburst the day before, in a move similar to that usually pulled by EFF Leader Julius Malema, when he put on a fake English accent and mocked those who have spent a year concerned with the Nkandla controversy, discussing “the house of one man…Just a house.”
Unable to stop himself laughing, the President joked how “some people who could not pronounce Nkandla, they’ve now learned. Nkandla, Nkandla…”
Nhleko said his Report deals directly with the question of whether the President is liable for those costs found by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to be non-security features.
The Police Minister said the firepool is a strategic asset useful in firefighting and therefore is a security feature. The purpose of the animal enclosure, he said, is to keep livestock away from the security features and thus enhances security imperatives and is a security feature.
Nhleko said the ”amphitheatre” has a clear security purpose and is thus a security feature.
The visitors’ centre, he said, has to cater for the President’s guests and meetings where privacy and confidentiality are necessary…therefore the centre is a security feature.
And with that he concluded that “accordingly, the State President is therefore not liable to pay for any of these features.” In fact he said that the Report found more outstanding security work should be funded and completed “expeditiously”.
5 Best Moments from Nhleko’s Nkandla Report
News24 in South Africa compiled the following five ‘best moments’ from the Minister’s Report: