Zuma is misleading SA - Holomisa

2012-10-21 14:33
(Khaya Ngwenya, City Press)

(Khaya Ngwenya, City Press)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma is underestimating South Africans' intelligence, United Democratic Movement president Bantu Holomisa said on Sunday, in reaction to a media report on upgrades to Zuma's Nkandla home.

"He is misleading the country," Holomisa said in a statement.

"President Zuma is not building a safe and secure home for his retirement, he is building a private town of 25 houses, at R2.6m each, using taxpayers' money."

City Press reported that five days before Zuma called on executives to tighten their belts, the department of public works approved the payment of millions of rand to the contractors developing his homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

The newspaper claimed to have copies of internal public works documentation showing that multi-million rand payments had been made to nine companies.

City Press had earlier reported that R203m of taxpayers' money would be spent on the upgrade, and that Zuma would pay only five percent of the bill - around R10m.

Beefed-up security

On 5 October, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said the work at Zuma's home was not unique, and was part of the work undertaken at various security sites.

"When President Zuma was elected president, it was a requirement understood by all that the security would have to be beefed up at places of high security risk," Nxesi said at the time.

He said the same upgrades were done in Houghton and Qunu, where former president Nelson Mandela's homes were situated, at the Union Buildings, at the president's office at Tuynhuis, Parliament, and at King's House in Durban.

According to City Press, the biggest beneficiary of the Nkandla upgrade was businesswomen Thandeka Nene's Bnelena Construction Enterprise and Projects. The company was awarded two contracts, worth R33.4m and R66m.

The R33.4m was for "emergency work" that did not go out to tender.

Holomisa said it was shocking that one service provider had been given R99.3m to spend.

"The African National Congress should explain to the nation what its position is on its deployee spending millions of taxpayers' rands in this way," he said.

"They indeed owe an explanation to the voters of this country."

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