Nkandla architect fights back

Johannesburg - Architect Minenhle Makhanya will serve notice in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday to oppose a R155m civil claim lodged by the Special Investigating Unit, City Press reported on Sunday.

"We confirm that we act on behalf of Mr Minenhle Makhanya. We have instructions to defend the matter. We will file notice of intention to defend on Monday," his lawyer Barnabas Xulu told the newspaper.

Xulu is a founder of Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust and a prominent ANC lawyer, according to the report.

Xulu said he still had to consult with Makhanya in detail, and indicated that Makhanya "will not be paying the money," the newspaper reported.

The SIU civil claim against Makhanya related to the R246m security upgrades done at President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

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

Makhanya made headlines after it was revealed in Madonsela's report that he made R16.5m out of the Nkandla project.

Makhanya has reportedly landed the deal to design Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's eighth palace.