Nkandla ‘born in arms deal sin’

Johannesburg – The initial upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead was funded by donations and arms deal-related payments when it was clear that Zuma didn’t have the funds to pay for it, a confidential forensic audit report has revealed.

The Mail & Guardian published the key findings of the confidential 2006 KPMG audit report on Friday.

It was prepared for Zuma’s corruption trial, but never admitted as evidence because the NPA dropped charges against him.

The M&G details how Zuma’s Nkandla homestead was “born in arms-deal sin” and “weaves in the thick strand of graft introduced by the notorious ‘encrypted fax’, which alleged that Zuma and Schabir Shaik had concluded a secret bribe agreement with French defence company Thomson-CSF”.

“The ongoing saga of the construction, financing and outfitting of the president’s rural seat captures the mixture of chaos, influence and excess that seems to characterise Zuma’s relationship with money – and with his many benefactors,” the M&G said.

A friend of Zuma first approached architects on his behalf in February 2000, and the builder agreed to a price of R1.3m. Zuma’s living expenses at the time were more than double his monthly income, so it is apparent he was expecting a cash injection of some sort.

Over the next few years, a number of payments were received, including R1m from former president Nelson Mandela and various payments through his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik. Zuma applied for a R900 000 home loan in 2002 assisted by his friend Vivian Reddy.

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