Royal contract for Nkandla architect: Report

President Jacob Zuma's architect has also landed the deal to design Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's eighth palace, the Sunday Tribune newspaper reported.

While Minenhle Makhanya's fees for the KwaNobamba palace near Ulundi are not known, the chairman of the Royal Household Trust, Jerome Ngwenya, was quoted as saying that the project would be financed by private investors working with the King's son Prince Butho, who has petroleum interests in Equatorial Guinea.

"It's private Zulu royal family funds paying for this. The government will have no involvement in funding the proposed palace," Ngwenya was quoted as saying.

Building still needs the approval of the department of environmental affairs as well as Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife because the planned palace is located in the eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park.

Makhanya made headlines after it was revealed in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on Zuma's home in Nkandla that he made R16.5 million out of the R246 million Nkandla project.

He did not have to compete in any tender for the project.

King Zwelithini made headlines in May when it was revealed that the KwaZulu-Natal department of arts and culture had set aside R300m for his Enyokeni Palace in Nongoma where accommodation facilities will be built for the thousands of maidens who attend the annual reed dance.

King Zwelithini receives R63 million a year from the provincial treasury.