06/03/2017 06:43 GMT | Updated 06/03/2017 06:48 GMT

Nkandla Disciplinary Processes Are Finally Underway

In an interview, Public Works minister Thulas Nxesi says the process was delayed by the media's application to sit in in the disciplinary hearings.

Rogan Ward / Reuters
A general view of the Nkandla home of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla is seen in this file picture taken August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Rogan Ward/Files TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The Department of Public Works has finally started to discipline officials implicated in the Nkandla scandal, public works minister Thulas Nxesi told Business Day during an interview.

He reportedly said one official had entered a plea and 11 others were due to begin their disciplinary processes this year.

Nxesi said the delays in the disciplinary processes were because of "you guys" – the media – because the media had gone to court to seek access to the disciplinary hearings.

He said the process could not continue while that case was being resolved, and the employees concerned had contested the media's application for access.

The media was granted access in June last year.

He told Business Day that officials were charged in 2015. The Special Investigating Unit reportedly recommended that 15 civil cases be opened, 44 criminal cases be opened, and 64 disciplinary processes be pursued against officials.

The paper said that eight officials have already been dismissed, while 92 cases are pending or outstanding and 31 other cases have been finalised.

Nxesi told Business Day he had inherited a "mess" in the department. He said that when he had arrived three years ago, there was only one qualified electrical engineer in the department. He said officials had an attitude of "resistance and arrogance".