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SIU case to recover millions from Nkandla architect begins in high court behind closed doors

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SIU case to recover millions from Nkandla architect begins in high court behind closed doors

The case in which the Particular Investigating Unit (SIU) is seeking to claw abet doubtless the most   R246m spent on upgrades at mature president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead started in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday.

The trial involving mature president Jacob Zuma’s architect Minenhle Makhanya started in the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday. File photo.

Image: Thembinkosi Dwayisa

The SIU’s Particular Tribunal desires Minenhle Makhanya to pay abet about R155m for the upgrades that were funded by the taxpayer.

Early Newspaper

Then again, the hearing is being heard in digicam.

On application by the SIU, think Kate Pillay ordered that the hearing be held behind closed doors thanks to confidential security information about Zuma’s homestead, which used to be anticipated to be disclosed.

The first peep to testify on behalf of the SIU is an knowledgeable forensic investigator.

Among the controversial upgrades were an amphitheatre, a swimming pool – labelled a “fireplace pool”, a helipad, a rooster speed and pricey fencing.

The Constitutional Court dominated that Zuma have to pay abet doubtless the most money, and the Nationwide Treasury determined the volume for non-security associated upgrades to be R7.8m.

He secured a mortgage from VBS Mutual Financial institution to assemble this payment in 2016.

In a 2014 chronicle on the matter, then public protector Thuli Madonsela acknowledged Makhanya used to be the de facto undertaking supervisor, principal agent and scamper-between for presidency officials and Zuma on the time of the upgrades.

It used to be on his gaze that the costs had escalated exponentially, rising by more than 200% in 300 and sixty five days.

When Makhanya remaining regarded sooner than think Pillay earlier this year, he pleaded poverty and acknowledged his application to the Appropriate Support board had been grew to turn into down. He indicated that he used to be appealing the choice.

On Monday, when the hearing started, Makhanya had no genuine representative with him.

Imply Vinay Gajoo, representing the SIU, acknowledged the matter had been in the courts since 2014 and wanted to be brought to finality in the interests of justice, and there used to be public interest in the matter.

He indicated that the SIU would call three witnesses: the executive investigator, the architect and a quantity surveyor.

Makhanya acknowledged he had to signify himself, on myth of his financial distress used to be harmful.

He also claimed that he used to be no longer a licensed skilled, and would perchance well no longer observe genuine proceedings.

Particular Tribunal spokesperson Selby Makgotho acknowledged the well-known peep – who he did no longer title – started proof with the history of the undertaking, which started in 2009. Makhanya had been appointed as undertaking supervisor by the division of public works.

The first finances used to be an estimated R27m, however the undertaking increased in scope with adjustments which in the slay led to an absence of R155m.

The peep acknowledged the mature minister of public works, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, used to be interviewed during the subsequent investigation. She acknowledged in total:

  • 110 interviews with high-ranking officials, contractors and consulting carrier suppliers were conducted;
  • 59 statements were obtained; and
  • 75 financial institution accountants of public works officials were scrutinised.

The hearing continues.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

BY TANIA BROUGHTON

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SIU case to recover millions from Nkandla architect begins in high court behind closed doors