On Friday (29 November), The Mail & Guardian published a damning exposé covering the provisional public protector report into the R215 million upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.
The report revealed that Zuma received substantial personal benefits from the multi-million rand upgrade to his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, with government maintaining the upgrades were essential for Zuma’s security.
However, according to the report, Madonsela found a swimming pool, visitors’ centre, amphitheatre, cattle kraal, marquee area, extensive paving, and new houses for relatives included in the upgrade at “enormous cost” to the taxpayer.
Madonsela’s report recommended the president be called to account by Parliament for violating the executive ethics code on two counts.
These were for failing to protect state resources, and misleading Parliament for suggesting he and his family had paid for all non-security-related features.
One of the key allegations listed in the report stated that costs escalated from an initial R27 million to R215 million, with a further R31 million in works outstanding – making it the most expensive “security” spend on a president in South African history.
South Africans – both ANC supporters and otherwise – took to social networking site, Twitter, to express their anger at the report’s findings, calling for Zuma to be impeached for wasting tax-payers’ money.
“I love my ANC, no doubt, but the current leadership is a catastrophic plague. #zuma,” said one Twitter user.
“What has to be done for #Zuma to be recalled?” asked another.
By late Friday afternoon (29 November), #Zuma, #Nkandla, the ANC and Thuli Madonsela were trending across the South African Twittersphere.
BusinessTech has compiled an infographic, looking at a few things the South African government could have better-spent R215 million on.