‘Zuma, explain Nkandla’ – Zille
The Democratic Alliance has asked President Jacob Zuma to explain the over R200 million upgrade to his private Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal, party leader Helen Zille has said.
“The president must also explain what personal accountability he takes for the scandal, and who else in his government will be held accountable for this failure of judgement,” she said in a statement today.
The DA had written to Zuma, and to the ministers of public works, defence, police and public service and administration.
It had offered them “a formal opportunity to offer a full and thorough explanation of how this unacceptable expenditure came to be approved, and on what basis”.
Zille said government’s footing such a large bill on Zuma’s private residence could be illegal.
“The DA believes that spending R250 million on upgrades to the president’s private home is not only morally wrong and unjustifiable given our country’s social needs, but that it is also possibly illegal.
“It is, we believe, in violation of the provisions of the Ministerial Handbook and the Executive Ethics Code.”
Based on the response the DA received, it would consider whether to take legal action.
Zille said the president and his government had been dodging questions on Nkandla.
“The president’s office has referred queries to the department of public works, as the department that contracted the work in Nkandla.
“But the Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi has said that it was the departments of state security and defence that requested and planned the upgrades.
“The government has even tried to justify the expenditure for vague security reasons, hiding behind provisions in the National Key Points Act.”
Yesterday, Parliament blocked a question submitted by DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko on Nkandla.
Reports have estimated the cost of the work to be between R203 million and R248 million. Zuma would reportedly pay less than 5% of the bill – around R10 million.