Politics

Bid to recover Nkandla millions

Bid to recover Nkandla millions

The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) is still trying to recoup R155 million from Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya.

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille said on day the matter had been in court last month, but had to be postponed.

This was after the SIU submitted a number of documents related to their work on the Nkandla project.

Makhanya was sued by the SIU for R155m in relation to the matter.

Former President Jacob Zuma was also slapped with a R7.8m bill to repay the government after the national Treasury conducted an assessment of non-security upgrades at the complex.

De Lille, who was briefing the media in Cape Town ahead of her budget vote, said they were still trying to get R155m from Makhanya.

“On the issue of Nkandla, it is in court in Pietermaritzburg.

“The court sat on June 25 and there has been a postponement because the SIU produced so many documents,” said De Lille.

In March 2016, the Constitutional Court found against Zuma and ordered him to repay some of the money for non-security upgrades.

The SIU then sued Makhanya and has been trying to recoup R155m.

But President Cyril Ramaphosa has tasked the SIU’s Special Tribunal to recover the money stolen from public funds.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola told Parliament recently that the tribunal would start operating in October. Judge Gidfonia Milendelwa Makhanya is head of the tribunal and seven other judges work alongside him.

De Lille also said they were acting against a number of senior officials who were irregularly appointed in the Department of Public Works.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) had conducted an investigation into more than 600 employees in the department who were irregularly appointed.

The commission has found that 11 out of 37 senior officials in the department were irregularly appointed and their appointments would be set aside, said De Lille.

She said she would meet the legal department of public works on the mechanics of the Bill.

The Expropriation Bill is part of the legislation to be used to achieve the government’s aim to enable the expropriation of land without compensation.

De Lille said the bill would be tabled in Parliament before the end of the year. It would then be referred to the portfolio committee on public works.