Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wait for Nkandla report, Zuma tells MPs

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday said Parliament and the country needs to wait for a governmental report into expenditure on security upgrades at his Nkandla home before drawing any conclusions on the issue.

He made the remarks in Parliament, Cape Town, after opposition parties once again raised the contentious issue.

Zuma could only laugh when a Congress of the People (Cope) MP tried to get a straightforward answer from him.

The president maintained his family paid for certain renovations.

“Nobody’s permission was necessary [because] it related to an upgrade of a private residence.”

The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s Lindiwe Mazibuko then asked Zuma if he was aware of a letter from former public works minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, in which she apparently informed him of the security upgrade costs.

Zuma stood his ground.

“The report is coming. It will clarify all of this.”

The ANC however does not want to report to be openly discussed in the National Assembly.

It is estimated the upgrade cost over R200 million.

The Public Protector is also investigating the upgrades, despite a report by the Public Works Ministry which found no evidence of any wrongdoing on Zuma’s part.

According to the report, R71 million was spent directly on security while a further R135 million was spent on operational costs incurred by state departments involved in the upgrade.

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