The ANC has admitted, through its newly appointed parliamentary chief whip, Jackson Mthembu, that the scandal around Nkandla has damaged its reputation.
“We lost face and we cannot afford to lose face again,” Mthembu told the Justice Factor show on Monday evening.
A report in the Sunday Times (27 March edition) showed how state funds were used to pay for airconditioning, fittings, doormats, and fixtures for three houses at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.
According to the paper, a dossier compiled by former Department of Public Works deputy director-general Rachard Samuel showed that the state paid for roof thatching, doors, windows, tiles, aircons, and “extras” at the presidential compound.
The Sunday Times noted that Zuma did not pay the Department of Public Works, which claimed that no public money was spent on Zuma’s residence.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said that the exposé confirmed what South Africans have long held, that the president personally benefitted from the upgrades which took place at his R247 million private Nkandla residence.
“This contradicts what Zuma previously articulated in Parliament where he stated that he and his family had not benefitted materially from the upgrades,” Maimane said.
Zuma previously told Parliament: “My residence in Nkandla was paid for by the Zuma family. All the buildings and every room we use in that residence was built by ourselves as a family and not by government. I have never asked government to build a home for me, and it has not done so.”
Maimane said that Zuma clearly misled Parliament and the people of South Africa in order to evade being held accountable.
“This information adds the growing body of evidence, which points to a man who is not fit to serve as president, and I again call on the ANC to recall Zuma.
“South Africa cannot be led by a man who blatantly disregard the Rule of Law and the Constitution in order to enrich himself and a cabal of people close to him,” Maimane said.
While Zuma has agreed to pay back a portion of the public money he spent on Nkandla, the exact amount has not yet been determined.
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