President Jacob Zuma has told Parliament that he would not know how much the public works department had spent on his Nkandla home.
He said on Thursday it could not have been the reported R250-million.
"I don't know this amount of money [or] where it went to because it cannot be so much," he said, adding that cost control for public works was not his job.
He said he was still paying a bank bond for the five family buildings that form part of the compound.
"My residence ... has been paid for by the Zuma family. All the buildings and every room we use ... was built by ourselves as family and not by government. I have never asked
government to build a home for me, and it has not done so."
Zuma said violence in KwaZulu-Natal had led to his home being burnt down twice, and that he decided to extend the last rebuilt version while he was still deputy president. "Then government came to say they now have to include the security features to my residence. By the time the government came the constructors were on site that had been enlisted by the family."Investigations into possible mis-spending or overcharging by the auditor general and public protector must be respected, Zuma said in the written version of his reply to a question by Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko on whether construction would be halted. In answering a series of follow-up questions, however, he said it would make sense to have such investigators "screened", because "in no country are these kind of matters discussed in public".
Construction on his property would continue, he said.
"Should the investigations unearth wrongdoing of any kind, the necessary actions will be taken, as we have done in respect of irregularity in other instances."