09/05/2017 08:47 SAST | Updated 09/05/2017 08:47 SAST

DA Launches Probe After NPA Says It Will Not Criminally Prosecute Nkandla Officials

“Corruption is the enemy of good governance."

Rogan Ward / Reuters
A general view of the Nkandla home of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma.

The Democratic Alliance wants to force the NPA to provide a record of its decision not to criminally prosecute three Department of Public Works officials allegedly linked to the Nkandla scandal.

This comes after the party received a response from the department's minister, Nathi Nhleko, who said the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) referred evidence for possible criminal action against three former senior department officials and one contractor involved in the Nkandla upgrades to the National Prosecuting Authority.

However, Nhleko said the NPA declined to prosecute the officials and the enquiry against the contractor is pending.

The three officials highlighted in the SIU's report are Solly Malebye, Sam Vukela and Siviwe Dongwana, who were acting or permanent directors-general between 2009 and 2012.

"The SIU instituted a civil claim against Makhanya Architects, the principal architect in the Nkandla matter, in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court. The proceedings are pending," Nhleko said.

DA shadow minister of public works, Patricia Kopane, said in a statement yesterday that although the party believes President Jacob Zuma is "ultimately responsible", the department's officials must also be held to account.

"Corruption is the enemy of good governance that makes the elite wealthier at the expense of the poor and unemployed. We will not rest until all those connected to corruption and any abuse of the public purse are held to the highest account," Kopane said.

The SIU also gave evidence for possible disciplinary action against 12 department employees also involved in the Nkandla upgrades.

In Nhleko's response, he said disciplinary action was instituted against all 12 employees -- one of whom pleaded guilty, was suspended without pay and handed a final written warning while another died. The remaining 10 hearings have since commenced.

However, six of these employees received performance bonuses, amounting to more than R200 000, between April 2012 and March 2017.