- The Pietermaritzburg High Court heard testimony from the first witness in relation to former President Jacob Zuma's homestead in Nkandla
- The first witness appeared anonymously and testified that the Department of Public Works initially budgeted to spend R27million on upgrades at Zuma's home
- The witness also told the court that the team of professionals that was elected to oversee the project was appointed in an unlawful manner
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PIETERMARITZBURG - The first witness in the corruption trial involving the security upgrades of former President Jacob Zuma's homestead took the stand on Monday and said there were a lot of issues that were found in the procurement processes of the project.
The witness appeared in camera at the Pietermaritzburg High Court and their identity has been kept anonymous for safety reasons.
The unnamed witness told the High Court that the initial budget for the upgrades at Zuma's home was R27 million, however, as time went on the budget began to increase as the project began to become more than what it was initially meant to be, according to a report by IOL.
The budget then increased to R216 million. The project was carried out by the Department of Public Works.
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The witness also testified that the team that was hired for the project was chosen in an irregular manner. The witness also stated that through thorough investigations it was discovered that 14 of the consultants who were procured had bogus credentials.
According to SowetanLIVE, Zuma was ordered to pay back the state R7.8million for non-security upgrades by the Constitutional Court. He managed to pay the money back in 2016 after acquiring a loan from VBS Mutual Bank.
Nkandla: Trial against Zuma’s homestead architect held in camera, causes stir online
Briefly News previously reported that the Special Investigating Unit's (SIU) Special Tribunal has been trying to bring back some of the R246 million spent on the Nkandla homestead upgrades. The trial has been a week-long proceeding with a civil recovery being put against the homestead's architect Minenhle Makhanya.
The proceedings began at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday, 27 September. The tribunal wishes that Makhanya pays approximately R155 million back as this was allegedly used for upgrades and was funded by taxpayers.
Reports state that the matter is being held in-camera after Judge Kate Pillay ordered so following an application by the SIU. This was done due to the sensitive details about former president Jacob Zuma's homestead which may be disclosed.