Zuma needs Nkandla ‘firepool’ because of bad municipal water supply – Nhleko

If this wasn’t meant to be serious, it would be funny. Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has been spending a lot of time trying, and failing, to justify elements of the outrageous expenditure at taxpayers’ expense – a cool R246 million of taxpayers’ money so far –of so-called ‘security upgrades’ for President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla estate. Most recently, Nhleko claimed that the amount spent on Zuma’s home has been vastly over-reported by opposition politicians and the media. In this News24 report, Nhleko would have us believe Zuma was forced to have the ‘firepool’ because of bad municipal services. He doesn’t seem to think Zuma should have to take responsibility for inadequate service delivery himself, rather than to make tax payers have to pay for it. Clearly he and Zuma see things through a completely different prism from the rest of us. As if that isn’t bad enough, Nhleko has had the gumption to tell the Parliamentary ad-hoc committee looking into Nkandla that upgrade costs could increase even further. Why? Because the investigation had forced some of the work to be stopped, he says. The only question left is what creative nonsense will he come up with next to justify the unjustifiable? – Marika Sboros

By Amanda Khoza and Thomas Hartleb

nkandla-homestead_sliderPietermaritzburg (News24) – An erratic municipal water supply and the prevalence of fires are why President Jacob Zuma needs a “firepool” at his Nkandla home, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko said on Tuesday.

“Nkandla is prone to fires. At some point an old age home burnt down and a boarding school burnt down,” he told Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature in Pietermaritzburg.

The committee, which is studying Nhleko’s report on the R246m spent on so-called security upgrades at Nkandla, is scheduled to visit the homestead on Wednesday.

Nhleko found that Zuma was not liable for any of the spending, contradicting a report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that recommended he had to pay for those features not related to security, like the pool and cattle kraal. Nhleko said all the features were security-related.

Municipal water supply ‘erratic’ Nhleko was explaining parts of his report to the committee’s members, accompanying his talk with aerial photos of the dwellings. The uThungulu district municipality’s water supply to Nkandla was erratic, he said. He said the “firepool” was not discussed with Zuma. It was intended to be used primarily for fighting fires and secondly for recreation. “But what comes out from this demonstration is the amount of water needed and this speaks to the… distance and the open water source and atmospheric pressure.” He showed his audience the video played at the release of his own report, on May 28, which at the time elicited laughter from journalists. It shows firefighters demonstrating how they pump water from the pool and spray it from their hoses. This time his audience watched straight-faced.

Nothing out of the ordinary

He then turned his attention to the visitors’ lounge and amphitheatre.

The lounge was built on top of the police station, located on the perimeter of the homestead. The SA National Defence Force’s housing complex was outside the perimeter.

He said all state homes had a visitors’ centre, so it was nothing out of the ordinary.

According to the engineers the amphitheatre was intended to function as a retaining wall, at the base of which was an emergency assembly area.

“For purposes of functionality, they themselves refer to it as an amphitheatre,” he said.

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