No Nkandla report said I squandered money – Zuma

2015-02-08 21:53

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President Jacob Zuma has hit back at those saying he should pay back the money for upgrades at his Nkandla home.

No findings said he should pay anything, Zuma said.

He also said no questions on Nkandla should be allowed until the parliamentary ad hoc committee, set up to discuss the Public Protector’s report, has made a finding.

“If I was the Speaker, I would not have allowed the question (from the EFF on Nkandla) as there was a committee established,” Zuma told journalists at a lunch he hosted for them at the presidential guest house in Pretoria this afternoon.

“You wait for the committee to conclude and then bring a report, then you have time to ask questions,” he said.

He said an inter-ministerial committee, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the Public Protector have investigated the R246 million upgrades to his home.

“Not a single one has said Zuma squandered money,” he said. “That serious allegation has never been made.”

But he said Public Protector Thuli Madonsela did find that his family unduly benefited.

“It changes the allegation that I squandered government money. It’s not a small matter that you can make that kind of claim. So Zuma never decided that firstly the security upgrade should be built, never. Zuma built his own house,” Zuma said.

He said he had a bond on the house, but journalists were not writing about that.

He also said he couldn’t understand why the EFF raised the matter before the ad hoc committee has made a finding.

“It’s not a small matter that my name was thrown out that I squandered R250 million and then people discover it is not so; nobody says so.”

He said “there was something fishy in the manner in which it was dealt with. No investigative journalists have gone back there. The facts are clear, people don’t want facts because they want to deal with Zuma.”

Zuma said the issue of Nkandla was being used by parties for political gain.

He said an unviable airport was built for a president in George before, referring to apartheid era president PW Botha. He asked whether the matter of security upgrades arose “because now we have a president from Nkandla”.

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