A cloud of controversy has surrounded the more than R206 million allegedly used for what was described as security upgrades at the Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal.
In November, the Mail&Guardian reported that Madonsela had found in her preliminary report that Zuma had misled Parliament and benefited substantially from the upgrade.
An inter-ministerial task team report on the Nkandla expenditure was released in December, after it was declassified, confirming that a total of R206,420,644 was spent on the upgrade.
Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, who initially classified the report, said at its release that allegations that Zuma had used state resources to build and upgrade the residence were unfounded.
The report’s release date was expected to be around February 9, a few days before President Jacob Zuma’s state-of-the-nation address, but Madonsela extended the deadline for responses at the request of one of the parties.
Madonsela has been criticised by the African National Congress for her handling of the probe, with the party’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe accusing her of trying to “muddy the waters in the election campaign”.
Madonsela has dismissed this claim.
Meanwhile, security is tight and journalists attending the press brief were searched.
This shows the significance of this report and the sensitiveness it has created, amongst others.
Some ANC leaders have rubbished the report as a ‘smear campaign’ to discredit Zuma’s administration’ as the country prepares for the fortch-coming elections on May 7.