Nkandla project manager knows 'real truth'

Cape Town - The project manager of the security upgrade at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal says he knows the "real truth" of what happened, and hopes that this will emerge.

Beeld reported on Thursday that Jean Rindel, a project manager at the department of public works in Durban, was tasked with the implementing the controversial security upgrade.

Rindel told Beeld he had given his full co-operation to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) during its investigation into the project.

He said he knows "the story behind the story", but declined to give more details.

According to Beeld, his name is mentioned 106 times in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report into the upgrade, and he is also mentioned in court papers filed this week by the SIU.

Rindel reportedly appointed Minenhle Makhanya as the main architect for the project. Makhanya is being sued for R155.3m by the SIU in an attempt to recoup some of the costs of the project.

The SIU court papers state that Makhanya's appointment was illegal and invalid, but was at the request of Rindel and/or the acting director of the department of public works at the time. Both reportedly knew his name was not on the department's list of registered service providers.

Rindel told Beeld he was not aware if he would be charged as part of the SIU's investigation into the project. The SIU's civil claim against Makhanya is reportedly the first of many civil claims and criminal charges related to the Nkandla project.

Meanwhile, the SIU says it is finalising its report, after receiving responses from all those it had requested input from. The report will be presented to Zuma when complete.