ATC150807: Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to consider the report of the Minister of Police in reply to recommendations in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee to consider the report by the President regarding security upgrades at the Nkandla Private Residence of the President dated 6 August 2015
Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to consider the report of the Minister of Police in reply to recommendations in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee to consider the report by the President regarding security upgrades at the Nkandla Private Residence of the President dated 6 August 2015
The Ad Hoc Committee was established through a resolution of the National Assembly on 2 June 2015 (NA Minutes, No 17—2015, p 2021)
The House established the Ad Hoc Committee to –
(1) consider the report by the Minister of Police tabled on 28 May 2015 in reply to recommendations in the Report of Ad Hoc Committee to Consider the Report by the President regarding Security upgrades at the Nkandla Private Residence of the President, as adopted by the National Assembly on 13 November 2014;
(2) consist of 14 voting members, as follows: African National Congress 8, Democratic Alliance 3, Economic Freedom Fighters 1 and other parties 2;
(3) further consist of 16 non-voting members, as follows: African National Congress 5, Democratic Alliance 2, Economic Freedom Fighters 1 and other parties 8 designated by the remainder of the other parties;
(4) exercise those powers in Rule 138 and the rules applicable to Committees and generally that may assist it in carrying out its functions; and
(5) submit a report to the House with its findings and recommendations, where applicable, by 7 August 2015.
The Report by the Minister of Police on the Security Upgrades at the Nkandla Private Residence of the President therefore served as the base document for consideration by the Ad Hoc Committee (Recommendation 5.9, ATC no 91, p 2982).
On 24 June 2015 the Speaker referred a letter of the Minister of Public Works to the Ad Hoc Committee (ATC No 78—2015, p 2548).
The following members were appointed to the Committee:
African National Congress (ANC)
Frolick, Mr CT, MP
Dlakude, Ms DE, MP
Kubayi, Ms MT, MP
Motshekga, Dr MS, MP
Beukman, Mr F, MP
Ngcobo, Ms BT, MP
Maseko, Ms LM, MP
Gamede, Mr DD, MP
Smith, Mr VG, MP (Alternate)
September, Ms CC, MP (Non-Voting)
Coleman, Ms EM, MP (Non- Voting)
Mahambehlala, Ms T, MP (Alternate)
Maake, Mr JJ, MP (Non-Voting)
Democratic Alliance (DA)
Maimane, Mr M, MP
Selfe, Mr J, MP
Breytenbach, Adv G, MP
Steenhuisen, Mr JH, MP (Alternate)
Majola, Mr TR, MP (Non-Voting)
Dreyer, Ms A M, MP (Non-Voting)
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)
Singh, Mr N, MP
Freedom Front Plus (FF PLUS)
Mulder, Dr CP, MP
In line with Assembly Rule 153 the following members also attended Committee meetings:
African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)
Swart, Mr SN, MP
African Independence Party (AIC)
Ntshayisa, Mr LM, MP
United Democratic Movement (UDM)
Kwankwa, Mr NLS, MP
National Freedom Party (NFP)
Khubisa, Prof NM, MP
Mbinda, Mr L.R., MP
Godi, Mr T, MP
Plouamma, Mr A, MP
2. Committee Deliberations
On 11 June 2014 the Committee was convened in terms of Assembly Rule 131 and proceeded to elect a chairperson. The Honourable C T Frolick, MP was elected as chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee. A document was circulated on 23 June 2015 by the Honourable James Selfe, MP as a point in limine rejecting the report of the Minister of Police in its entirety. Additionally a view was expressed that the work of the Committee was unconstitutional.
Some Members of the Committee supported this view and expressed their concerns that their participation in the Committee could be giving legitimacy to the process.
Members of the Committee discussed the terms of reference of the Committee and the constitutional imperatives thereof. The Chairperson indicated that the Committee is set up according to Rule 214 and will conduct its work in terms of Rule 138. The work of the Ad Hoc Committee is broadly to execute the constitutional mandate of the National Assembly namely, to oversee executive action. Therefore, the work of the Committee is consistent with the Constitution.
Proposals were made to call the Public Protector, Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the fire and cultural experts, the Minister of Police and Minister of Public Works.
The Ad Hoc Committee also considered a proposal from another Member to call the Minister of Police and the Minister of Public Works to appear before the Committee. The Committee unanimously supported a proposal that the Chairperson draft a programme for consideration by the Committee.
The Committee reconvened on 23 June 2015 to discuss the programme tabled by the Chairperson. Some Members indicated that they wanted the report of the Minister of Police to be fully tabled and for the Committee to also consider the Public Protector’s report. The majority of Members responded that National Assembly Resolution establishing the Committee was specific in its terms of reference for the Ad Hoc Committee to consider the report of the Minister of Police.
After deliberations the programme, as tabled by the Chairperson, was adopted by the Ad Hoc Committee.
On 21 July 2015, the Minister of Police, the Honourable N P Nhleko (in terms of recommendation 5.9 of the previous Ad Hoc Committee) presented his report to the Ad Hoc Committee on the security upgrades at the Nkandla private residence of the President. In his presentation he reported inter-alia as follows:
- The Minister took his mandate from the recommendations of the previous Ad Hoc Committee which were agreed to by the National Assembly on 13 November 2014.
- The Speaker of the National Assembly had conveyed the resolution to his office on 29 December 2014 and requested that he submit his report on the recommendations contained in the report of the previous Ad Hoc Committee to the Speaker for further tabling.
- The Minister had established a technical team of qualified security experts to undertake an evaluation of the existing security features at Nkandla, its effectiveness, and its appropriateness in relation to the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) report.
- The Minister had also assessed the policy and regulatory gaps relating to securing the private residences of political office bearers and a review of the policy had been undertaken by the Civilian Secretariat for Police, which is before Cabinet.
- The alleged non-security features, namely: the swimming pool, new kraal, chicken run, culvert, visitors’ centre and the amphitheatre were assessed by experts and were found to be security features.
- During the perusal of all reports related to the Nkandla prestige project, the Minister could not find any evidence or record where the State President and/or any member of his family requested anything to be constructed including the security features.
- There were varying cost estimates attributed to the prestige project by different institutions and bodies.
- These ranged from R206 420 644.28 reported by the Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Public Works, R216 million by the SIU, and R246 million by the media and opposition parties, as well as R250 million attributed by Die Burger newspaper.
- The cost of the security features amounted to R71 212 621.77 including consultancy and/or professional fees.
- The remainder of R135 208 022.51 was the cost of the SAPS and SANDF departmental operational needs, such as the clinic, helipad, staff quarters and needs, and consultancy fees amongst others.
- The security upgrades actually cost R50, 5 million while consultancy fees on the security upgrades cost R20 688 736.89.
- There were several cost escalations from 2009 until 2010 and the state would have to focus on who authorised these escalations.
- The need for the pool was a result of the inherent fire risk posed by the thatched roof buildings.
- Cultural experts were consulted about the construction of the cattle kraal.
- An animal enclosure and culvert was built to prevent cattle from interfering with the Intruder Detection System attached to the perimeter fencing.
Members posed questions to the Minister arising from his presentation and deliberated on it.
The Minister maintained that he was accountable to the Constitution and his Oath of Office. He pointed out that the President appointed a wide range of people including judges and that this did not mean that they were obligated to make favourable judgements towards the President.
The Minister responded that he took his mandate from the resolution establishing this Ad Hoc Committee and had not engaged with the Public Protector.
He also reported that the 21 houses for the SAPS and the SANDF were outside the perimeter of the President’s home and that the Park homes were equally split between the SAPS and SANDF.
On 22 July 2015, Members visited the Nkandla private residence of the President for an inspection in loco.
2.1 Committee deliberations following the oversight visit to the Nkandla private residence of the President
On 23 July 2015 the Committee met for further deliberations on their findings following the oversight visit to the private residence of the President.
After lengthy deliberations the Committee agreed to re-invite the Minister of Police to clarify certain matters in his report and to provide more information on what Members saw at Nkandla. The Committee further agreed to invite the Minister of Public Works to present his report and to respond to Members concerns about the role of the Department of Public Works in the entire project. A specific interest for Members was clarity on the R135, 2 million spent on the houses built for the SAPS and SANDF personnel and the clinic.
The Committee reconvened on 29 July 2015 to consider the reports and presentation by the Minister of Police, the Honourable Mr N P Nhleko and the Minister of Public Works, the Honourable Mr T W Nxesi, MP.
2.2 Second Briefing by the Minister of Police
In responding to certain issues that emerged during the deliberations of the Ad Hoc Committee on 23 July 2015, the Minister of Police emphasized that his report was based on a technical assessment by security experts. These were included later in the report and constituted source documents of the Committee.
In response to a question, the Minister explained that the letter by Senior Superintendent N F Linde had no legal standing as Senior Superintendent Linde had no authority or delegated powers that he claimed to have in the letter and in which he purported to be acting on the President’s instructions. The Minister reported that Senior Superintendent Linde had admitted in the SIU report that he misrepresented what was contained in the letter. The Minister further stated that the Police barracks, clinic and the helipad, which were constructed as per the letter of Senior Superintendent Linde were situated on adjacent land which belonged to the KwaZulu-Natal Ingonyama Trust. SAPS housing policy would be used in the allocation of the units once the handover process had been completed.
The Minister further clarified that an assessment would be done to determine the extent of outstanding work which still needed to be completed, including a re-evaluation of the security situation given the extent of exposure that the homestead had undergone with potential cost implications. Any security needs that would be necessary would be dealt with in strict compliance with applicable prescripts and regulations. Regarding the R135.2 million that was spent on the outer perimeter projects, the Minister further clarified that this amount included the costs of building the 21 housing units, the clinic, the helipad and professional fees. The Minister reported that the Cabinet Memorandum of 2003 was relied on in the determination of the security needs of the President.
The Committee further deliberated on the presentation of the Minister and their visit to Nkandla, private residence of the President. After deliberations, the Minister responded to the issues raised.
2.3 Briefing by the Minister of Public Works
The Minister of Public Works, the Honourable Mr T W Nxesi MP, took the Committee through the measures which the Department of Public Works (DPW) had undertaken to comply with the recommendations of the previous Ad Hoc Committee in as far as the DPW was concerned. The Minister conceded that at the centre of the problems experienced was poor project management, coordination, and a complete disregard of applicable laws and policies by those who were tasked with the responsibility of managing state money. A process of pursuing all individuals implicated in the wrongdoing was already at an advanced stage and this included internal disciplinary hearings, civil lawsuits and in some instances criminal proceedings being instituted. Twelve officials were charged, one official had pleaded guilty and was suspended for three months. There were delays in the internal disciplinary hearings in view of court challenges. Other matters were also referred to the South African Revenue Services for further investigations. There were four variation orders, of three that exceeded the 20% threshold. The process of developing a Prestige Project policy with norms and standards for political office bearers was underway and undergoing Cabinet processes. The Minister also reported that the SIU applied for an order to declare the architect’s appointment to be invalid and directing that he pays the DPW an amount of R155 million.
In addition, the Minister made the following points:
- The Prestige Project at the President’s private residence at Nkandla was not properly budgeted for.
- Supply Chain Management (SCM) due process was not followed in appointing contractors. Prescripts and regulations in terms of procurement processes were totally disregarded.
- There was no value for money in the project and the acting Director-General failed to comply with the prescripts of SCM processes.
- The Committee made the following comments:
After the presentation of the Minister of Public Works, certain Members still insisted that the Public Protector be invited to present to the Committee. No agreement was reached on the matter and it was referred to informal discussions between parties.
The Committee reconvened on 30 July 2015 to agree on a way forward.
In the meeting, it was reported, after consultations, that:
- The parties could not reach consensus on the calling of further persons before the Committee;
- The majority of Members in the meeting stated that the matter is not being re-investigated;
- The Committee should follow its mandate to deal with the report of the Minister of Police.
After deliberations on the matter of calling more people to appear before the Committee, the matter was called to a vote. The majority of Members voted against the proposal to call further witnesses. The result of the vote was seven (7) against, and four (4) in support of the proposal.
There was general agreement amongst the Members that:
- South Africans were misled about the opulence of the private residence of the President.
- There is a gross exaggeration of the scope, scale and cost of the project.
- There is no value for money spent on the project and there is gross inflation of prices.
- The workmanship is shoddy and of a poor quality.
- Most of the work is incomplete especially those that relate to security monitoring of the President’s private residence. Consequently, it is clear that the current security arrangements are insufficient and incomplete.
- There is general consensus that those responsible for deviations from the PFMA should be held accountable and the money must be recovered from those found guilty of these transgressions.
- Efforts are currently underway to ensure that all those implicated in wrongdoing are pursued and face the full might of the law.
- Various departments and entities are pursuing civil, criminal and disciplinary steps against various persons.
- The Committee is satisfied with the efforts made by the Ministers of Police and Public Works to comply with the recommendations of the previous Ad Hoc Committee, particularly in the area of strengthening of budget processes.
- The Report of the Minister of Police responds to the House Resolution as contained in the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee that was adopted by the National Assembly on 13 November 2014.
- The Report of the Minister of Public Works responds to the House Resolutions contained in the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee that was adopted by the National Assembly on 13 November 2014.
- Recommends that the Executive ensure that all necessary steps are taken to ensure that the safety of the Head of State and his family is not compromised.
- The Portfolio Committees of Public Works, and Police and the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence must ensure continuous monitoring of corrective actions to be taken by the relevant national departments.
- The Committee recommends that the relevant departments and law enforcement authorities ensure the expeditious conclusion of civil, criminal and disciplinary matters.
- The Report of the Minister of Police be adopted.
- The Report of the Minister of Public Works be adopted.
Opposition parties tabled a proposed report that was voted on by the Committee resulting in three (3) votes in favour, and seven (7) votes against.
Report to be considered.
No related documents