Madonsela letter shows Cele failed to stop Nkandla expenditure: report

31 January 2014 - 14:56 By Sapa
Advocate Thuli Madonsela speaks at a media briefing on December 4, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. The public protector has rubbished claims by the ANC that her office had leaked the report on security upgrades to the president's Nkandla home. She told the media that a draft of her provisional report on Nkandla was only given to five ministers.
Advocate Thuli Madonsela speaks at a media briefing on December 4, 2013 in Pretoria, South Africa. The public protector has rubbished claims by the ANC that her office had leaked the report on security upgrades to the president's Nkandla home. She told the media that a draft of her provisional report on Nkandla was only given to five ministers.
Image: Alet Pretorius

A leaked public protector letter showed that former top cop Bheki Cele failed to stop fruitless and wasteful expenditure at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home, according to a report on Friday.

Thuli Madonsela informed Cele in a letter that proper processes were not followed by the police and the departments of public works and defence, said The Mail & Guardian.

She provisionally found that Cele, as the police's accounting officer during the period under investigation, had failed to stop excessive spending.

"I could find no indication during the investigation that the president paid or was requested to pay for any of the security measures that were installed and implemented at his private residence..."

Cele's spokesman, Vuyo Mkhize, told the newspaper that the former national police commissioner would find his own platform to tell his side of the story.

Cele's lawyers had requested Madonsela to make available South African Police Service documents and correspondence relating to the project, to enable him to make a proper reply.

Madonsela declined to comment to the M&G. Her spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi told Sapa: "We don't comment on ongoing investigations."

The newspaper reported in November that Madonsela had found in her preliminary report that Zuma had misled Parliament and had benefited substantially from the R206 million upgrade to his homestead.

An inter-ministerial task team report on the Nkandla expenditure was released in December, after it was declassified, confirming that a total of R206 420 644 was spent on the upgrade.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, who initially classified the report, said at its release that allegations that Zuma had used state resources to build and upgrade the residence were unfounded.

African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe said earlier that if Madonsela released her final report close to the elections it would indicate an intention to "muddy the waters in the election campaign".

The report release date was expected to be announced around February 9.

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