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Taxpayers not footing Zuma bill

2009-12-03 18:51

Johannesburg - Taxpayers are not paying for renovations to President Jacob Zuma's homestead at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal, the presidency said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said: "We urge the media to leave the family alone to conduct its business and reject any insinuation that there could be any untoward abuse of State resources by the president or his family."

The statement was issued after  the presidency received enquiries from the media relating to construction work at Nkandla, seeking to establish whether the public works department was funding the alterations.

"The Zuma family planned before the elections to extend the Nkandla residence and this is being done at own cost.

"No government funding will be utilised for the construction work. This is a private matter which should be left to the family," Magwenya said.

He added, however, that the State was to undertake construction work outside the perimeter of the Zuma household.

This was in line with the security and medical requirements afforded to heads of state. Construction of accommodation for Zuma's security staff, a helipad and a clinic would be paid for by the government.

"The presidency is fully aware of the need to separate public from private expenditure.

"The demarcation at Nkandla is very clear and there can be no reason to confuse the private construction work in the Zuma household and the State facilities that will be constructed outside the perimeter."