Nkandla saga can’t be wished away — DA

2013-02-04 00:00

CAPE TOWN — President Jacob Zuma cannot wish away the continuing saga surrounding his Nkandla village.

This was what Lindiwe Mazibuko, the DA’s parliamentary leader, said yesterday after a report in the City Press that the Department of Public Works had built a tuck shop for one of Zuma’s wives, Sizakele Khumalo.

The report in the City Press cites an official public works progress report, dated November 5, 2010, in which the cost for the construction of a “guard house, storage bin and tuck shop” was estimated to be R586 467.

Mazibuko said the report shows that the team tasked to investigate the spending on Nkandla had only delivered a whitewash to absolve Zuma of any blame.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi last week announced the findings of the task team, although the report itself was not released.

Nxesi said no taxpayers’ money was used to build any of the Zuma family’s homes at Nkandla and that his department had determined Nkandla’s security needs and budgeted accordingly.

An amount of R206,4 million was taken from the treasury — R135,2 million for “operational needs” from state departments, which includes a clinic, a fire station and a police office; and R71,2 million for consultants and security features such as bullet proof windows, fencing, evacuation mechanisms and firefighting equipment.

While the ANC said the report absolved Zuma of any irregularities, it did not answer the opposition’s questions.

Mazibuko said the report seemed misleading and part of a desperate attempt to convince South Africans that it is acceptable to spend R206 million on one man.

She said President Zuma was keeping quiet “as if there is no crisis” and added he could not wish the crisis away.

Mazibuko said the president could not afford to continue saying nothing when the scandal placed him in the spotlight.

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