State funds used to buy R1,500 doormats for Nkandla: report

New details have emerged about how state funds were used to pay for airconditioning, fittings, doormats, and fixtures for three houses at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, a dossier compiled by former Department of Public Works deputy director-general Rachard Samuel shows that the state paid for roof thatching, doors, windows, tiles, aircons, and “extras” at the presidential compound.

The dossier also states that officials involved in the Nkandla project warned political heads that Zuma would have to pay for a portion of the building costs.

The Sunday Times stated that Samuel was one of the officials made to take the fall for overspending at Nkandla.

The paper reported that Zuma did not pay the Department of Public Works, which claimed that no public money was spent on Zuma’s residence.

What South African taxpayers forked out

According to the Sunday Times, documents show that Public Works paid for the following at Nkandla:

  • R1.5 million for airconditioning at two private houses, a guest house, and a guard house
  • R311,900 for covered walkways between private residences
  • R54,700 for 6 meranti doors and 26 meranti windows
  • R34,800 for aluminium doors
  • R63,200 for plastering
  • R271,700 for carpentry and joinery
  • R465,400 for roof coverings
  • R2.4 million for “extras”
  • R1,500 for a doormat, of which 6 were bought.

While President Jacob Zuma has agreed to pay back a portion of the public money he spent on Nkandla, the exact amount has not yet been determined.

The president said earlier this year that he would be willing to pay back an amount determined by the Auditor-General Thembekile Kimi Makwetu, and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan through an order of the Constitutional Court.

They would be appointed to calculate the portion of the cost of the multi-million rand upgrades at Nkandla not related to security.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela published a report in March 2014 titled: Secure in Comfort, which found that Zuma had unduly benefited from the R246 million spent on non-security features at his home.

Advocate Madonsela recommended that the president should pay back “a reasonable percentage of the cost”.

“Based on Madonsela’s report, the DA has calculated that the president is liable for at least an amount of R52.9 million for the non-security upgrades to his private residence.

Zuma’s spokesperson, Bongani Majola told the Sunday Times that the president has reiterated that his residence has been been built and paid for by the Zuma family.

CAiT3igUkAMpg1_The full report is available in the Sunday Times of 27 March 2016.

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State funds used to buy R1,500 doormats for Nkandla: report