Nkandla: Zuma says still paying bond

2012-11-15 22:24
Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

Jacob Zuma (Picture: AFP)

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Zuma defends Nkandla

2012-11-16 09:35

President Jacob Zuma insisted to Parliament he paid for upgrades to his Nkandla homestead. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma reacted angrily on Thursday over reports about his Nkandla residence, maintaining that he and his family paid for the construction, and that he is still paying off a mortgage bond.

Zuma insisted that "the buildings and every room we use in that residence was built by ourselves as family".

He said when he became president he and his family decided to expand the home and called in contractors.

"I took the decision to extend my home... and I built more rondavels. I engaged the bank and I am still paying the bond," he added.

Zuma said he had never asked government to build a home for him, and it had not done so.

"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.

"I have an opportunity today to explain this. Because my name is being used wrongly. My family is being undermined. Even by Honourable Members, who don't ask... what actually happened. And I feel very aggrieved, I must tell you for the first time," the president said.

"I have been convicted, painted black, called the first-class corruption man on facts that are not tested. I take exception.”

A clearly upset Zuma was answering questions in the National Assembly where he said he was "aggrieved" by media reports that the government had paid more than R200m for his home.

Zuma said the only money spent by the government on his home was for security features, including fencing, bullet-proof windows and a bunker.

"I was advised that the security upgrades were... necessary in terms of the National Key Points Act," he said.

Zuma said he had hired contractors to build extensions to his Nkandla residence. The work started, but on his becoming president he was told certain security features needed to be incorporated.

He also drew a distinction between work he was paying for himself, and construction work outside the perimeter of his residence.

"Any other construction undertaken by government outside the perimeter of my home, such as the accommodation for government security personnel, are not part of my residence," he said.

Laughing stock

The question about his Nkandla home was posed by DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko.

In a follow-up question, Mazibuko asked Zuma to explain the "security enhancements" made at Nkandla.

She said these included 31 new buildings, six of which cost R8m each; a R2.3m lift to the bunker; R1.5m for airconditioning systems for each of the houses; a visitor centre; a gymnasium; and guest rooms.

"Are these security enhancements? The fact that this is the Honourable President's private home is something that we take exception to. The government does not have a responsibility to upgrade, at a cost of R250m, the private home [of the president]," she said.

Responding, Zuma told Mazibuko she was premising questions on information that was not accurate.

"Speaker, there are only... five additional houses in my home that I can speak about. She is [speaking of] a huge number of houses I have nothing to do with. She then adds the amount of money on houses that [I] have never paid... I paid for my houses. There are five... Don't include things that don't belong to me."

The other houses were not part of his residence, Zuma said.

Referring to a DA march on his Nkandla home earlier this month, led by party leader Helen Zille, the president said he took exception to this.

"You... have leaders of political parties - who don't know whether they're provincial or national - making trips to come and photograph my house.

"And making a laughing stock of my family. I take exception to this."

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  helen zille  |  lindiwe mazibuko  |  jacob zuma  |  nkandla upgrade  |  parliament 2012  |  politics
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