Home South African Special Tribunal hears Nkandla architect has been hospitalised

Special Tribunal hears Nkandla architect has been hospitalised

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A R155 million civil claim was instituted against Minenhle Makhanya after upgrades at Zuma’s home were found to be excessive

Former president Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. File photo: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town – Nkandla security upgrades principal architect Minenhle Makhanya, who was scheduled to begin cross-examination of the first witness, has been hospitalised.

Special Tribunal spokesperson Selby Makgotho said Makhanya has been hospitalised at an undisclosed hospital in Durban after being admitted late on Wednesday night.

He was scheduled to cross-examine the witness, a specialist from the Special Investigations Unit, on Thursday as soon as she finished with her testimony.

The matter is scheduled to commence in camera at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday.

On Monday the witness began testifying in the R155 million civil recovery proceedings against Makhanya.

The decision to proceed with the matter in camera came as the Special Tribunal was alerted to the information spelling out private security details which would expose former president Jacob Zuma’s security.

In March 2014, former public protector Thuli Madonsela released her final report on upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. She found Zuma and his family benefited from measures implemented in the name of security.

The “Secure in Comfort” report found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the R246 million spent on non-security features at Nkandla – including a swimming pool, kraal, chicken run and visitors’ centre – and that he should pay back part of the money.

A civil claim was instituted against Makhanya after the upgrades at Zuma’s home were found to be excessive.

The matter was first enrolled in the Pietermaritzburg High Court in September 2014 and transferred to the Special Tribunal by agreement of the parties.

Makhanya said he has no legal representation due to his financial situation.

He said the SIU is using state funds to fight an ordinary man, while has run out of resources.

Makhanya further raised concerns about the media presence in court since he has been found guilty in the court of public opinion. He said there is much information out there as far as his name has been mentioned in the public.

Political Bureau

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