Addressing a crowd in Gugulethu on Sunday, President Jacob Zuma responded to controversy surrounding security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
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His address follows the release of a 400-page report titled "Secure in Comfort" by public protector Thuli Madonsela on March 19, which found that the president should pay back a portion of the R246-million in state funds that was spent on refurbishments at Nkandla.
According to a New Age article on Monday, Zuma – while on a campaign trail in Cape Town – said, "I did not use taxpayers' money.
"They put in windows that I don’t even want. Then they turn around and say this fellow used the government's money.”
Zuma addressed the group of elderly people a day after the party's two-day national executive committee (NEC) meeting in the city.
"They searched and investigated and finished but they did not find anything," Zuma added.
'What's happening inside'
On the sidelines of the NEC meeting on Saturday, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said Madonsela's damning report on security upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla homestead would be on the agenda of the ANC NEC meeting
While speaking briefly to reporters, Mthembu said, "Indeed on the agenda we also have what probably you have all come here for, the report of the public protector on the security upgrades at Nkandla."
Mthembu refused to be drawn on specifics. "I won't take any questions because once we open for questions, all of you would like to ask all sorts of questions, which we'll not be able to answer because we are not having a press conference," he said. "It's just a briefing to keep you updated on what's happening inside."
Meanwhile, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe urged the government to implement Madonsela's recommendations in her Nkandla report, SABC television news reported on Friday.
"It has been investigated by the inter-ministerial task team, as well as the public protector and what I was saying is … there are reports, there are recommendations, and those reports must be acted upon," said Motlanthe.
"There's no 'if not'. That's the right thing to do. They must be acted upon. What needs to be done has to be done. Those who must take responsibility, have got to take responsibility."
He was speaking to the public broadcaster while electioneering in Cape Town. – Additional reporting by Sapa