Nkandla: 'No government has built Zuma's house'

President Jacob Zuma. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

President Jacob Zuma. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The media acted unfairly by labelling President Jacob Zuma a corrupt leader, he said on Monday.

“It’s very much unfair ... Neither of the two reports say I abused government money,” he told editors in Johannesburg. He said this was a major allegation and media had not been telling the truth. “I’ve not expressed my total views on this matter ... It has been investigated, there was no finding of misconduct.” Both the Parliament security cluster and the public protector released reports on the upgrades. 

He spoke in the third person, saying: “No government has built Zuma’s house.” 

Public protector Thuli Madonsela found in her report that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the R246-million security upgrade to Nkandla.
But Zuma says that newspapers that published pictures of his Nkandla homestead were misinforming people. 

“You give an impression that this man is gone to that massive thing built there,” he said. “In the picture, a clinic for the government ... is put as part of my homestead.” He reiterated that he was paying a bond, and was running a country, not a construction company. 

“It’s not fair when you give a picture of Zuma’s house and a narrative that is not correct.” 

Zuma stressed he was also a citizen who had rights. “I am also a citizen. I need protection also. The [public] protector’s report does not say Zuma abused money of government. I don’t think it is fair treatment to a citizen.” He said the media went overboard sometimes when reporting on matters.

ANC’s support
Meanwhile, Zuma said the ANC’s election campaign covered every part of the country and was successful.

“We were in every town, city, and village,” he told editors. “We are very happy with the campaign. People have come in big numbers.” He said the rallies held in every province showed the ANC had overwhelming support in the country and that South Africans showed great enthusiasm. 

Zuma said that at some rallies stadiums were not big enough to accommodate the crowds. In Mbombela, Mpumalanga, he said there were more people outside the stadium than inside. He expressed confidence that the ANC would enjoy an overwhelming victory in Wednesday’s elections. 

After winning, Zuma said he would accelerate service delivery in the next administration. “We want to move with greater speed this time.” – Sapa

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