President Jacob Zuma has compared the construction of George airport for apartheid head of state PW Botha, and his own home in Nkandla, Beeld reported on Monday.
Answering a question during a Sunday lunch to mark media freedom day, he said he lived in a state house without paying rent and travelled on state planes without paying for it.
"Is this an unfair advantage?" he asked.
When it was pointed out that his Nkandla dwelling was a personal home, not state property, Zuma said it was the state's duty to protect the president and deputy president.
Zuma said the airport in George was not built for economic reasons.
"It is because Botha lived there (Wilderness)."
He wanted to know why there was so much criticism over Nkandla saying: "Is Nkandla not meant to produce a president?"
The government spent R246 million on upgrades to Zuma's Nkandla home. The public protector recommended that he repay that part of the money not spent on security.
Meanwhile, disciplinary hearings for officials who signed off on aspects of the project were underway. Parliament was disrupted by a call by the Economic Freedom Fighters that Zuma "pay back the money", and the architect who worked on the project is challenging his alleged liability for overspending in court.