The Public Protector’s Report, Secure in Comfort, investigated allegations of impropriety and unethical conduct relating to installation and implementation of security measures by the Department of Public Works (DPW) at the private residence of President Jacob Zuma e-Nkandla in Kwazulu-Natal.
Legal authority violated or exceeded?
The legal authority for implementing security measures at the private residence of the President is conferred by the Cabinet Policy of 2003 and the National Key Points Act 102 of 1980. Nkandla was declared a National Key Point in the course of implementation. Implementation failed to comply with the parameters set out for the proper exercise of authority.
Conduct authorities in respect of procurement and prescripts?
Organs of state failed to follow Supply Chain Management prescripts (PFMA, Treasury Regulations, GAIMA). Key omissions include: absence of demand management, improper delegations, failure to procure through competitive tender, failure to conduct due diligence, failure to ensure service provider security clearance, allowing “scope creep”, absence of asset management plan. The conduct of organs of state involved was unlawful and constitutes improper conduct and maladministration.
DPW measures beyond security requirements?
The following went beyond reasonable security requirements: visitors centre, cattle kraal with culvert and chicken run, swimming pool, amphitheatre, marquee area, extensive paving, and relocation of neighbours. These installations involved unlawful action and constitutes improper conduct and maladministration.
Measures not expressly provided for but could be discretionally implemented benefiting the broader community, include: helipads, private clinic, and SAPS quarters. Failure to explore economic and community inclusive options constitutes improper conduct and maladministration.
Expenditure excessive and opulent?
Expenditure incurred went beyond reasonable requirements for the President’s security and caused misappropriation of public funds. The acts and omissions involved are, unlawful and constitute improper conduct and maladministration.
President’s family improperly benefit?
Excessive and improper implementation of the Nkandla Project resulted in value being unduly added to the President’s private property. President Zuma and his immediate family improperly benefited from the measures. The acts and omissions that allowed this constitute unlawful and improper conduct and maladministration.
Maladministration by office bearers, officials and others?
The Ministers of Public Works provided incorrect information on the legal authority for and the extent of the works. DPW, SAPs and DOD officials failed to acquaint themselves with the authorising instruments relating to implementation of the Nkandla Project. These failures constitute improper conduct and maladministration.
The appointed Principal Agent was in a conflict of interest position leading to scope creep, cost escalation and poor performance.
The Ministers’ of Public Work’s involvement created an atmosphere perceived as political interference. Their involvement is not found to constitute improper conduct or maladministration.
Funds transferred from other DPW projects?
Funds were reallocated from the DPW Inner City Regeneration and Dolomite Risk Management Programmes. This was in violation of section 237 of the Constitution and the Batho Pele White Paper and constitutes improper conduct and maladministration.
President’s liability to costs?
The President tacitly accepted the implementation of all measures and has unduly benefited, a reasonable part of the expenditure should be borne by him and his family. The amount should be based on the cost of some or all items that can’t be accepted as security measures.
President’s ethic violations?
President Zuma told Parliament his family had built its own houses and the state had not benefited them in this respect. This was not true. The President and his family benefited from the Nkandla Project. “I am not able to establish if costs relating to his private renovations were separated from those of the state”. Evidence that the President addressed Parliament in good faith is accepted.
The President’s failure to act in protection of state resources constitutes a violation of paragraph 2 of the Executive Ethics Code and amounts to conduct that is inconsistent with his office as a member of Cabinet, as contemplated by section 96 of the Constitution.
Other Findings of Maladministration
The state’s occupation of land adjacent to that occupied by the President, is unlawful and improper, violating provisions and requirements of the KwaZulu-Natal Ingonyama Trust Act 9 of 1994 and constitutes maladministration.
Deficiencies Observed During Investigation
Anomalies in the Nkandla Project point to systemic policy gaps and administrative deficiencies in the regulatory framework. There is a need for policy regulating security measures and clear demarcation of the roles of SAPS, DPW and DOD in respect of such projects.
The Impact of the Nkandla Project
A number of the items installed by the DPW, will require lifetime maintenance at cost to the state. Some maintenance costs may transcend the President’s lifetime.