Nkandla: DA lays corruption charges on Zuma’s doorstep

2014-03-20 14:22

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DA leaders have laid eight charges of corruption against President Jacob Zuma over the inflated costs of the more than R208-million security upgrade to his home at Nxamalala village near Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

The party’s national spokesperson and Gauteng premier candidate, Mmusi Maimane, accompanied by federal leader Wilmot James, KwaZulu-Natal leader Sizwe Mchunu and youth leader Mbali Ntuli laid the charges at the satellite police station at the Tussong One Stop Service Centre in the village, about 1km from the president’s family home.

Maimane said the charges stemmed from Zuma’s employment of architect Minenhle Makhanya to run the upgrade, which was carried out by the department of public works, and inflating the costs.

They were laid in terms of the Combating and Prevention of Corruption Act and the Public Protector Act, he said.

Zuma, he said, “benefited personally’’ from the project, as did Makhanya, who pocketed about R16 million, despite not being a registered architect.

Maimane said he believed the SAPS should investigate the charges swiftly.

The DA will also table a motion for Zuma’s impeachment in the National Assembly as part of a strategy to force action and public debate on the issue.

At a briefing on the roadside between the police station and Zuma’s palatial estate, Maimane said the sprawling complex “symbolises the highest level of corruption that a nation could endure’’.

He said South Africa’s developmental objectives – including housing and education – had been “exchanged’’ for outrageous acts of corruption like the Nxamalala upgrade.

James said the DA had a duty to act against Zuma.

“Should we allow this to continue, we will be allowing the state to be captured by a few individuals,’’ James said.

There was a large police and media presence at Nxamalala before and during the DA sortie, with police at roadblocks searching all vehicles entering the area. A kombi-load of ANC supporters waving Zuma kangas on the road nearby were stopped and turned back.

Locals watched events from a distance, but did not attempt to stop the proceedings.

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