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Zuma: Police minister should determine liability

2014-08-15 05:00

Johannesburg - The minister of police should determine whether President Jacob Zuma is liable for costs incurred following security upgrades at his Nkandla private home, Zuma said in a response to Parliament on Wednesday.

“I deem the following to be appropriate... the minister of police as the designated minister under the National Key Points Act, to report to Cabinet on a determination to whether the president is liable for any contribution in respect of the security upgrades having regard to the legislation, past practices, culture and findings contained in the respective reports," Zuma said in the response.

Zuma submitted his response on the security upgrades at his private home to Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, on Wednesday.

Zuma also requested the ministers in the security cluster and the public works minister, Thulas Nxesi, to report to Parliament on their "clearly defined roles and responsibilities" when dealing with the president, the deputy president and their predecessors' security when implementing Cabinet policy.

Nxesi should urgently report to Cabinet on the review of protocols and procedures regarding procurement, expenditure and oversight applicable, he said.

Lastly, Zuma said Cabinet should review the 2003 policy on the security of the president, deputy president and their predecessors with a view to setting parameters for implementation.

Zuma had undertaken to give Mbete a comprehensive report on the outcome of three separate investigations into state spending of some R246m on his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal.

Public spending on security upgrades at Nkandla turned into one of the major controversies of the Zuma presidency, as costs escalated and it emerged that the project included a pool (dubbed a firepool by government), an amphitheatre, and a chicken run.

Zuma declined to respond to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report in full within the required fortnight and said instead he would wait for the Special Investigating Unit findings.

On 5 July, the African National Congress Chief Whip's office said Zuma had received the provisional SIU report and would provide Mbete with a final and comprehensive response within 30 days.

Zuma signed a proclamation on 18 December giving the SIU the go-ahead to investigate "intentional or negligent loss of public money" at Nkandla.

In a report released in March, Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the R246m spent on the security upgrades.

The SIU said its report on the Nkandla spending would be made available next week.

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