Nkandla scandal hearings 'finalised and settled' – union

The 12 KwaZulu-Natal officials implicated in the scandal relating to Nkandla security upgrade, have "settled" their case with the Department of Public Works, a union official has said.

According to Public Servants Association (PSA) spokesperson Claude Naicker, all cases against the employees were "finalised".

"Eventually, all were finalised and settled. We felt it was appropriate because the matter had been dragging for a long time. The fact of the matter is, employees were taking strain with this hanging over their heads. Careerwise, it was becoming difficult."

Naicker said he could, however, not divulge details of the agreement.

READ: 'Zuma's Nkandla tender not transparent, unfair' - SIU investigator

"There is a clause [in the agreement that] neither party can disclose details of the settlement."

Naicker added that none of the employees had been suspended at any stage.

"When all this started, they were never suspended. They did the work during and after all of it (the Nkandla hearings)."

Public Works spokesperson Thami Mchunu did not immediately respond to a request or comment.

Central to the hearings, were the officials who allegedly did not follow the correct procedures regarding procurement‚ project management and supply chain management.

The officials involved in the Nkandla project were investigated, following recommendations in a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) report.

In a 2014 report, "Secure in Comfort", former public protector Thuli Madonsela found that former president Jacob  Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the so-called security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

Zuma ignored her recommendation that he repay what was spent on upgrades that were not related to security.

The Economic Freedom Fighters took the matter to the Constitutional Court. On March 31, 2016, it ordered the Treasury to determine how much Zuma should repay.

In June 2016, the Treasury said Zuma had to repay R7.8m. He paid up in September, with a loan from VBS Mutual Bank.

Media24, Tiso Blackstar Group and Mail & Guardian applied for media access to the hearings in 2016.

Judge Piet Koen ruled that the hearings were of public interest and said that denying media access was wrong.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter