NewsSouthern AfricaZuma's private homestead, Nkandla: The controversy continues

Thu,19Jul2018

Posted on Thursday, 23 July 2015 16:52

Zuma's private homestead, Nkandla: The controversy continues

By Crystal Oderson in Cape Town

Photo©ReutersSix years after it was constructed at a cost of millions of rand to the taxpayers, President Jacob Zuma's private homestead Nkandla in Kwazulu-Natal continues to raise the ire of opposition political parties with more damning evidence emerging showing that the president personally gave instructions for some of the upgrades in 2009.

This follows the first visit to the homestead by a parliamentary committee on Wednesday and members addressing the Kwazulu-Natal legislature on the issue on Thursday.

Our President is open to vultures. Our President is vulnerable. 

Once again political parties squared off over the matter.

An internal memorandum showed that Zuma instructed the Department of Public Works in October 2009, to build bachelor flats for bodyguards.

The DA said the visit showed that South African taxpayers were robbed and that the constitution was violated by the abuse of the funds.

During the visit by MPs, it also emerged that the 21 two-bedroom defence houses located outside the perimeter of the property were dirty and unfurnished.

The houses cost R6m each or R135.2m in total.

For the past year, opposition parties have been putting pressure on the country's parliament to ensure Zuma answers some burning questions on the millions of rand spent on the upgrade of his personal home.

A damning report by the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in August 2014 found that Zuma and his family unduly benefitted from the R 246 million ($20 million) upgrades to the homestead, but the report stopped short of finding Zuma guilty of any wrongdoing.

But the Public Protector's report did raise some serious questions on the president's judgement on the upgrades.

The ANC hit back, saying the Public Protector had misled the public in her report.

Inkatha Freedom Party's Narend Singh told the legislature: "There are many laughing all the way to the bank because they've made so much money out of Nkandla".

"Our President is open to vultures. Our President is vulnerable. I haven't seen anything security there," ANC MP, Tandi Mahambehlala retorted.

Another MP from the Freedom Front Plus, Corne Mulder said, "I will not be part of adopting the police minister's report. I was saddened to see what I saw yesterday at Nkandla".

The ANC's Doris Dlakude said the state was defrauded but defended Zuma.

Agang SA's Andries Tlouamma said: "I cannot think of the president as a victim. In African tradition the head of the house should be aware of what happens".

And it seems the Nkandla issue will continue to be a talking point in South Africa.



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