Thousands in performance bonuses paid to Nkandla ‘scapegoats’
Bonuses ranging from R11 205 to R60 766 were paid out to half of the officials implicated in the Nkandla debacle over five years.
Members of the media visiting the Police Barracks in Nkandla. Picture: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS
During the tender process and while arranging companies to construct the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence, 12 officials allegedly colluded to overprice contracts, leading to the R246 million that was spent on the presidential compound.
According to Times LIVE, in a written response to the DA’s parliamentary question on who the officials were, how far their case was, what the disciplinary processes taken against them were and if they had been paid bonuses, Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko admitted they had indeed been paid performance bonuses.
While he declined to name them, he said they were involved in disciplinary hearings, with one being suspended and another having died.
It was also revealed the National Prosecuting Authority had aborted a case related to the overspending against three officials named in the Special Investigating Unit report.
The Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma had benefited from upgrades to his home, supporting what was contained in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report. Madonsela found that Zuma had benefited unduly and recommended that he pay an amount towards the upgrades.
Zuma took out a loan with VBS bank and paid R7.8 million to National Treasury.
About three weeks ago, the Presidency denied there were further upgrades to be made to Zuma’s home after several high-level officials in the public works and police department confirmed there was more money set to be spent on Nkandla.
“We also wish to underscore that no government department, including the department of public works, will be permitted to renovate any of the president’s private houses in Nkandla,” the Presidency said.
Shoddy workmanship had apparently caused structural defects to the houses at the residence.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and public works chief director for legal services Barnie Ntlou told The Sunday Times they had received a briefing that upgrades to the R246 million homestead would be under way soon. Mbalula confirmed this in a text message, while Ntlou said officials had assessed the houses and buildings that needed upgrades.
“We are forced to do that. We can’t allow a presidential residence to be dilapidated,” he said.