President Jacob Zuma has “misled” South Africans about the R246-million spent on his Nkandla homestead, Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said on Monday.
“Last night [Sunday], during an SABC interview, President Jacob Zuma misled the nation by declaring that he had done ‘absolutely nothing wrong’, relating to the R246-million of taxpayers’ money spent at his private Nkandla residence,” he said in a statement. Zuma had also misrepresented the report of public protector Thuli Madonsela.
“Millions of rands of public funds were squandered on one man. Thus for the president to state on national television that he has done nothing wrong is in dereliction of his duties to protect the public purse and the interests of the state,” Maimane said. Zuma made the remarks in a pre-recorded interview broadcast by the SABC.
Maimane said it appeared the president had not read Madonsela’s report, “which explicitly states that he unduly benefited from the non-security upgrades at his ostentatious KwaZulu-Natal home”.
The public protector report further stated that Zuma should pay “a reasonable percentage of the cost”, which, to date, he had not done. “As most South Africans are aware, the public protector report also states that President Zuma ‘tacitly accepted’ the non-security upgrades, and he directly appointed one of the contractors. He is therefore implicated in wrongdoing.”
Maimane said the only reports to clear the president of wrongdoing were those compiled by the Special Investigating Unit and the Interministerial Task Team, which both reported to the president, and the “whitewash report” of the ANC-only Nkandla ad hoc committee. Maimane said the DA would continue to monitor the public protector’s court challenge and the South African Police Service’s investigation into corruption against Zuma.
“Through Parliament, we will also ensure that the president responds to the tough unanswered questions asked by the public protector,” he said.
Public spending on security upgrades at Zuma’s home have turned into one of the major controversies of his presidency. – Sapa