Full 'Zumaville' probe ordered - Times LIVE
Tue Mar 28 04:19:38 SAST 2017

Full 'Zumaville' probe ordered

Nashira Davids | 2014-05-21 00:00:41.0

First Nkandla, now Zumaville. The public protector's office has confirmed that it will investigate the R2-billion town planned in President Jacob Zuma's back yard.

The Umlalazi-Nkandla Smart Growth Centre is touted as South Africa' s first "post-apartheid" town.

Earlier this month, the Sunday Times reported that the town would go ahead as planned. Zuma held a meeting with local businessmen to confirm that "challenges" with the project were expected to be resolved, the newspaper said.

But in 2012, when news of the place - nicknamed Zumaville - surfaced, Afriforum lodged a complaint with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

"As the president. he [Zuma] gave instructions that this [development] should be done," Afriforum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said.

"But then he is also the chairman of Masibambisane [Rural Development Initiative], the company that will be involved in it. He is also a beneficiary in his personal capacity because this will improve the value of his own house."

This week Madonsela's spokesman, Kgalalelo Masibi, said: "A preliminary investigation was concluded and the public protector has decided to conduct a full investigation."

While it is not clear what will be investigated exactly, the complaint involves allegations of abuse of power and misuse of public funds.

The latest investigation comes as security cluster ministers are gearing up to have the public protector's findings on Nkandla set aside in court, a decision Madonsela called premature.

She does not believe a court will find in the ministers' favour.


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