As many as 21 houses at South African president, Jacob Zuma’s homestead at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal, remain empty almost six years after construction began.
According to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, the 21 three-bedroom houses were built for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), at a cost of more than R6 million each, however, the SANDF uses park homes, also situated on the president’s property.
Nhleko said he would conduct an investigation into the construction of the 21 security staff homes, as he did not yet know why they were built.
“We need to know who constructed those houses by whose decision. Who decided to use that construction, which is situated completely outside the property of the president to be lumped with the security upgrades”.
According to the minister the total expenditure on Nkandla was a little more than R206 million. Of this R50.5 million was spent on security upgrades, R20.7 million on consultants and professionals and the biggest portion of R135.2 million was spent on the 21 houses for the SA Police Service (SAPS) and SANDF.
However, he said houses built outside the perimeter of the actual homestead – more than 1km away – were not security features and should not have been lumped into the amount spent on security for the president.
“I need to establish how we came to the 21 houses, what actually transpired and what the logic was. But also who decided to use one cost centre for two different projects.
“That will inform me what direction I need to take in that regard,” Nhleko said.