‘Zuma knew about Nkandla costs’

2012-11-23 08:07

President Jacob Zuma reportedly knew exactly how much of taxpayers’ money was being spent on the upgrade to his Nkandla residence.

Mail&Guardian revealed that Zuma was given “exhaustive details” about the progress at the Nkandla complex as early as November 2010.

This brought into question his vehement denial in Parliament last week that he was unaware of the scale of the project.

Last week, Zuma said in response to a question in the National Assembly: “All the buildings and every room we use in that residence was built by ourselves as family, and not by government.”

Zuma said he was “aggrieved” by media reports that government had paid more than R200 million for his home.

“On TV, they showed the house that I paid for. And they lie that it has been built by government. It has not been built by government.”

In the documents, the Nkandla project was referred to as “prestige project A” and showed how Zuma’s private contribution fell by half from R20 million to just over R10 million, while total costs more than doubled.

The newspaper said it could not verify all the documents independently but that some of the details confirmed those provided by a highly placed source.

The total cost of construction escalated from R111.3 million in 2010 to R248 million in 2012, the documents show.

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