Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Sunday said he did not ask for a multi-million rand state-funded makeover of his private house, after a report found he had unduly benefitted from the renovations.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said the R246m spent on the renovations at Zuma's Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal was excessive and ordered him to repay some of the costs.
But in his first public reaction to the damning report released 11 days ago, Zuma shifted the blame to government officials, saying he did not ask for the renovations and he would not repay.
"They did this without telling me," he was shown saying on ANN7. "So why should I pay for something I did not ask for."
He was speaking casually during the door-to-door election campaign in Gugulethu, Cape Town.
The cost of the refurbishments, which include a helipad, a swimming pool and even a chicken coop, ballooned from the initial estimate of R65m in 2009 to R246m.
Already the ANC has said officials implicated in the scandal should be called to account.
The Democratic Alliance has launched a criminal corruption case against Zuma over the upgrades and plans impeachment proceedings.
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