Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko briefs the media on Nkandla in May 2015. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

POLICE Minister Nathi Nhleko says his report on President Jacob Zuma’s private residence at Nkandla was as a result of an instruction from Parliament’s ad hoc committee and was not a response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report.

Addressing journalists at the National Press Club in Pretoria on Tuesday, Mr Nhleko defended his report into the upgrades, which found that the culvert, chicken run, cattle kraal, swimming pool, amphitheatre and visitors’ centre all formed part of security upgrades to Mr Zuma’s home.

The reaction to Mr Nhleko’s report presented earlier this month was scathing, with opposition parties boycotting an ad hoc committee set up to discuss it.

In the report, Mr Nhleko presented a video as evidence of how the swimming pool could be used to fight fires and showed that the amphitheatre was not for entertainment, but to bolster and support a road nearby that carried heavy security vehicles.

Mr Nhleko told journalists that he did not review Ms Madonsela’s report as she has claimed, but rather he limited his focus to the areas that Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla had requested him to make a determination on.

"I can only be blamed by Parliament ... these matters were brought to me by one house," he said. He said he was instructed by a Parliamentary resolution to make a "determination" on what constituted security and non-security upgrades from the items identified by Ms Madonsela as undue benefits to Mr Zuma and his family.

He added that intense scrutiny of the security at Mr Zuma’s private home necessitated yet another evaluation of his security, to effect further upgrades.

Ms Madonsela argued that her report was not open to review by the police minister and her recommendations were for him to determine how much Mr Zuma had to pay back for the "undue benefits" afforded to him and his family through the upgrades.

"The challenge now is that we have gone this route, there has got to be a re-evaluation ... of the security system around the homestead and the president himself," he said.

This was a challenge raised by security experts — that Mr Zuma’s home was "opened up to vulnerability".

The move to spend more money has been criticised even from within the African National Congress. Its Gauteng chairman, Paul Mashatile, publicly said he did not believe more money should be spent on Nkandla.

Mr Nhleko again presented evidence that the features such as the swimming pool, amphitheatre and chicken run were part of the security upgrades and challenged anyone saying they were not part of the security plan to provide evidence supporting this.