T Pillay, M Savides & S Govender | TIMESLIVE
AN electrical company has revealed that taxpayers’ money allocated for the R248-million upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home has been used to pay for renovations to the homes of his two brothers, which are not even on the estate.
In documents seen by the Sunday Times, Michael and Joseph Zuma are listed as having had supplies by electrical company Voltex delivered to their homes as part of the “prestige project” – as the Department of Public Works has dubbed the Nkandla upgrade.
Invoices for the work by the Durban-based company were submitted to a building contractor involved in the Nkandla project and have been laid bare in papers before the High Court in Durban.
Voltex went to court to recoup R545 249 it says was owed by contractor Pamela Mfeka. She was awarded a reported R47.6-million contract by the Department of Public Works to construct six buildings in Nkandla.
According to the court papers, Mfeka, 46, defaulted on the payments for electrical cables and other goods supplied for Zuma’s luxury compound and his brothers’ modest homesteads in Nxamalala village.
Michael denied that any work had been done to his or his brother’s home.
“There is no project here,” he said.
Yesterday, presidential spokes-man Mac Maharaj failed to respond to the Sunday Times after requesting written questions.
“I can’t just comment off the top of my head,” he said.
The court papers contain numerous invoices, dated between November 3 2011 and November 3 2012, in which Voltex billed Mfeka’s company, Moneymine Enterprises, for electrical products bought for Michael’s and Joseph’s homes, as well as the upgrade of Zuma’s homestead.
Several of the invoices refer to the prestige project, while some list the name of the village, Nxamalala, where all three homesteads are situated.
Amounts on the more than 30 invoices varied from R125 to R27565. One of the bills, dated November 30 2011, showed an amount of R3915 for electrical goods for Michael’s home.
Other invoices contained pricing codes for a variety of electrical and lighting products.
The matter was scheduled to be heard on Friday, but a settlement agreement was reached early in the day between the parties’ lawyers. Mfeka evaded questions from the Sunday Times. Her husband, Bongani, said: “I gave her your number about 15 minutes ago, and she said she is going to call you. Let me phone her now so she can call you.”
Mfeka’s company was one of several awarded multimillion-rand tenders.
According to the court papers, Moneymine entered into an agreement with Voltex last year to purchase goods between November 3 2011 and April 11 2012. The agreed payment date was no later than May 11 2012. Two months ago, the Sunday Times reported how another contractor, Thandeka Nene’s Bonelela Construction, was liquidated after the Department of Public Works failed to pay her over R8-million for work at Zuma’s home, including the construction of a private clinic.
This week, the Sunday Times established that two of the contracts given to Mfeka’s company for the Nkandla upgrade, and described as “Durban prestige project phase 2 – high security area”, were awarded on February 11 and June 11 last year.
Mfeka also owns Igugu Consulting, a company that provides human resources services and hosts corporate functions. She has several other companies that have raked in millions from government projects. Voltex’s lawyer, Simon Chetwynd-Palmer, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
TIMESLIVE-SME South Africa