Former president Jacob Zuma's R216 million security upgrade of his Nkandla homestead has come under spotlight once again.
This follows the five-day trial of Nkandla architect and project manager Minenhle Makhanya underway throughout this week at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Makhanya's trial relates to the multi-million rand security upgrades at the home of former president Jacob Zuma in 2009. The Special Tribunal is hearing evidence against Makhanya from three Special Investigating Unit witnesses on camera, to protect highly confidential security information regarding Zuma's famous Nkandla homestead.
The first witness revealed some jaw dropping information, which points out that the procurement instruction to do security upgrades at Nkandla was from Makhanya.
The witness adds that the scope of the price for the changes increased from R27 million to R216 million.
It was also revealed that there were several over designs, over-payments and overcharging of amounts and 14 consultants with fraudulent certificates were also found.
The witness further revealed that the adjustments did result in the protracted costs and led to the loss of R155 million way beyond the scope and the budgeted amount. The private professional team was appointed in an irregular manner, according to the witness.
Makhanya who is now being pursued by the Special Investigating Unit in a bid to recover the R155 million for Zuma's Nkandla homestead security upgrades says it's the first time he is appearing in court representing himself.
He says he previously had legal representation and that now he is a lay person. He adds that the SIU is using state funds to fight an ordinary man at a time he has run out of resources.
Makhanya pleads poverty, as he confirms that he is representing himself in the case as his financial situation is bad.
He says he is not a lawyer and is not able to follow the legal proceedings, but he has prepared the written submission which he wishes to take the Special Tribunal through.
The case will resume on Tuesday 28 September 2021.
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