Constitutional Hill

Nkandla Report exposes President Zuma’s personal involvement in the project

President Jacob Zuma has consistently claimed to know little about the taxpayer-funded aspects of the construction at his homestead near Nkandla. As the Public Protector Report on Nkandla makes abundantly clear, the President was intimately involved in (and had extensive knowledge of) the state-sponsored aspects of the construction at his private home. Claims to the contrary are therefore untrue.

The full extent of the Nkandla scandal only becomes apparent when you carefully read all 447 pages of the Public Protector’s Report. Although the Public Protector made damaging findings in her Report about the unconstitutional and unlawful actions of President Jacob Zuma and about the improper benefits derived from the Nkandla construction by President Zuma and his family, it is only when you study the full Report that it becomes apparent to what extent the President was directly involved in the scandal.

One aspect that bears scrutiny is the extensive evidence contained in the Report of President Zuma’s personal involvement in (and knowledge of) the taxpayer-funded aspects of the construction at Nkandla.

In February this year President Jacob Zuma, in an interview with ENCA – partially aimed at distancing himself from the state’s Nkandla construction project — claimed that as president, one did not ask about or debate matters relating to one’s personal security.  “You don’t,” he said. “No president asks that question…. I can tell you sitting here — there are things that they have done that I don’t know. In fact, they will tell you [that you are] not supposed to know.”

In an interview in the same week with Independent newspapers he again denied any involvement in the state-sponsored construction at Nkandla, seeking to draw (what now appears to be an artificial) distinction between security upgrades and the building of private houses for him and his family.

The government came very late to introduce security features at the level that they were being introduced before Zuma became the president. It was their confidential things. They never discussed with anyone of the family. So even if you wanted to talk, the family didn’t know. The very government… they are the ones who know better.

As the Public Protector’s Report on the Nkandla scandal makes clear, these statements create the wrong impression. Although it may have been possible to argue that one or two references relating to President Zuma’s involvement in the Nkandla project can be misinterpreted or may be based on lies told by those involved, the many references of President Zuma’s involvement in the project which are contained in the Report provide striking evidence of President Zuma’s intimate involvement in (and knowledge of) the Nkandla project, which was paid for from public funds.

I list some of this evidence contained in the Public Protector’s Report here in order for readers to make up their own minds and to ask themselves to what extent President Zuma had knowledge of (and was involved in) the construction project paid for by taxpayers money.

Paragraph 6.10.5 of the Report contains an extract from a letter from the SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management (written on 23 October 2009), informing the Director-General of the Department of Public Works:

By instruction of the State President, President Zuma the existing house at Nkandla currently accommodates SAPS members, (sic) must be converted as part of the President’s household. To cater for the needs of the members currently accommodated in the house as referred to above, additional bachelor flats need to be added to the needs assessment previously provided to your department.

Paragraph 6.19.2 indicates that much pressure was applied on various officials involved in the implementation of the Nkandla Project “due to the fact that the President had complained about the slow progress made and the negative impact it had on the finalisation of the construction of his private dwellings”.

In the minutes of a Progress Meeting (quoted in paragraph 6.22.2 of the Report) it was recorded that the architect (who was also Mr Zuma’s private architect for the residential dwellings built at Nkandla) “would discuss the road surface required for the driving of tractors with the principal (the President)”.

The minutes of a meeting held on 19 August 2010 (discussing the landscaping at Nkandla the Report) contains the following telling passage (at paragraph 6.24.2):

After discussions on the progress made in respect of a number of items, Mr Rindel suggested that Mr Makhanya meet with the President, “for signing off of documents.” He indicated during the investigation that both Mr Makhanya and the appointed Landscape Architect were tasked at the meeting to obtain approval of the landscape design from the President…. No further evidence was provided indicating that the President was indeed consulted in this regard.

Mr Zuma was also apparently kept abreast by his cabinet colleagues about progress with the Nkandla Project. As paragraph 6.32.1 of the Report makes clear, on 5 November 2010 then Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde addressed a letter to President Zuma providing him with a detailed progress report on the cattle culvert; perimeter fence; inner high security fence; Guard House, Tuck Shop, Refuse and electrical rooms; electrical supply; sewer treatment plant; relocation of families; upgrade of water supply; helipad; excavation for clinic; entrance by-pass; services to park homes and the bunker.

In minutes of a further progress meeting held on 16 November 2010 (and reported on in paragraph 6.35.1 of the Report), it is noted that the architect “indicated that he was advised by the President that the households to be relocated ‘is waiting for a family member to arrive before relocation can take place’”. And in the next paragraph it is noted that:

At the progress meeting held on 23 November 2010, it was recorded that the President had requested to be informed about the delay in their relocation from the site.

It appears that the President was also well aware of the construction of a swimming pool at state expense at Nkandla. In paragraph 6.44.3 of the Report (reflecting a progress meeting held o 1 April 2011) it is noted that the then Deputy Minister stated that she would discuss the use of the swimming pool by surrounding schools with the President.

At a subsequent meeting on 11 May 2011 it was reported that the construction of the swimming pool was put on hold “due to uncertainty about the apportionment of costs in respect thereof”. The architect “confirmed that the design of the fire-pool was presented to the President”. In paragraph 6.45.7 of the Report it is again noted that at a meeting on 25 May 2011the architect was requested to discuss the swimming pool with the President.

The swimming pool again came up at a meeting held on 4 July 2011. In paragraph 6.45.14 it is noted that at the meeting it:

was further recorded that the fire-pool submission was with the Bid Committee for approval and that all outstanding matters discussed between the Deputy Minister and the President had been resolved. No details were provided in this regard. This confirms the evidence of Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu that the matter of the swimming pool was discussed with the President.

At a meeting held on 11 May 2011 it was recorded (as reported in paragraph 6.45.2 of the Report) “that the implementation of landscaping had not been approved and that the Deputy Minister had discussions with the President in regard thereto”.

The minutes of this meeting noted that the architect “was requested to submit the landscaping changes that were made by the DPW to the President for his approval”. In paragraph 6.45.5 it is confirmed that at a meeting of 25 May the architect confirmed that he had discussed the landscaping with the President. In paragraph 6.45.10, based on minutes from a meeting held on 22 June 2011, it is recorded that the architect:

was to have further discussions with the President on infrastructure requirements. Mr Rindel indicated that the Landscape Architect was in the process of updating the design on what had been agreed with the President.

The Minutes of a meeting held on 28 September 2011 indicate that the architect once again reported that the President was concerned about the progress made on the site and that it might not be available for him to use during December 2011 (see paragraph 6.48.4 of the Report).

The President himself, in an interview with the Public Protector held on 11 August 2013, indicated that he (President Zuma) had requested the building of the kraal “as the number of his cattle had increased. He also stated that he would be willing to refund the state for the cost incurred in this regard” (see paragraph 6.63.2 of the Report).

Witnesses also indicated (according to paragraph 6.65.6 of the Report) that the then Deputy Minister had discussed the matter of the removal of adjacent families with President Zuma.

Evidence also emerged that the President was aware that a clinic would be built at Nkandla. According to the Report, the Deputy Minister discussed the matter with the President to determine whether the President “would be okay that the clinic also serves the community”. Paragraph 6.69.1.19 of the Report then notes that:

Lt Gen Ramlakan was opposed to the idea. However, she discussed it with the President. He stated that he wanted the community to benefit. According to her, President Zuma said: ‘If they give you grief, tell them they must come and talk to me.’

From this evidence it appears that the President was aware of various aspects of the lavish Nkandla construction.

Yet, there is no evidence that he questioned the expenditure (as some officials, to their credit, did) and took no steps to reduce the lavish expenditure on various features of the building programme. Some of these features were security related but had not originally been proposed as necessary to protect the President by the security team. Some of the features related purely to the personal enhancements of the Nkandla homestead.

The preliminary question that every South African may ask is why the President allowed himself and his family improperly to benefit from the Nkandla project. A subsequent question would be whether, given this lack of concern for the spending on public funds for his own benefit, the President can be trusted to head the government.

  • http://karinandanthony.com karin lundgren

    A pretty entertaining comparison; The head of Sweden´s opposing party, Mona Sahlin, stepped down a few years ago, after having been confronted about purchasing a Toblerone chocolate bar on her state credit card……….. Imagine the same intolerance being implemented here, after all, a chocolate bar for tax money, is one chocolate bar too many….

  • Magomarele Gomi Thobejane

    A very in depth and well written article.

  • Liesl Hager

    The president should not try and validate the excuse that he wasn’t supposed to know about the spending. It is clear that he was directly involved in the decision making process. I find it absurd that the tax payer’s money can be spent without any enquiry into the matter (by him) whatsoever! It is the responsibility of the president to ensure that the money is being spent responsibly! If he feels that he may not enquire into the matter, then he should have appointed a person who could monitor the financial situation and report to the public. It is only fair that the we (as taxpayers and the public) should be informed on how our money is spent and on what! We have the right to know.

  • Shannon Nauschutz

    If a country can function like that it proves that the citizens are the most important. It is vital that we move towards becoming a country like that – where everything is questioned and checked. Perhaps then the rich will stop becoming richer while the poor become poorer. Many people can barely keep their heads above water, yet the president is building his own small city.

  • Motlotlegi

    Nice one, Prof! I’ve been psyching myself up to reading that 400 page report to see exactly where the president fits in. I think I can justify not reading it now

  • WhoisJohanGalt

    Google ECDC takeaways… then Google ECDC hemp…

  • Michelle

    After several meetings with the president about the project, there can be clearly seen that the president was clearly aware and fully involved in the project. The president regularly asked about the progress of the project and routinely gave specifications for the project, which is entirely aside from the actual purpose of the project, such as the construction of the pool, the tuck shop and the cattle culvert. I don’t understand. How can the president say he was not fully involved in the project, when he gave the instructions??

  • Zinhle Eversmiling Masimula

    Our president just promoted corruption. If he does it then why wouldnt anyone else do it. Our country is in terrifying state because we cant trust anyone especially our president since he takes money from his own people just for his own benefit and his family.

  • Noluthando Fairytale

    If you look at the differences between Sweden and South African it becomes obvious with such a rule which country is doing better for their nation. Look at the political and socio economic differences, that on its own is a clear indication of how each country regards their rules and regulations. If SA was as strict as Sweden, we would have alot more to celebrate in this 20 years of democracy, not just a 246 million rand homestead!

  • Noluthando Fairytale

    It is clearly evident of the political and socio economic differences between South Africa and Sweden. If our own country opperated in such a manner,we would have been far better off in this 20 years of so-called democracy

  • Noluthando Fairytale

    It is clear in this example that South Africa is has been operating in a system of favouritism,nepotism and greed instead of democracy like it has been stated. If we took initiative like Sweden, a lot more would have happened in this 20 years from 1994 up until now

  • Tasmin Green

    It is clear that President Jacob Zuma knew that the tax-payers money was being used to upgrade his home. It is the President’s duty to make sure that the money is being used wisely,such as improving our infrastructure, however this is not the case. While more and more people are struggling to live a comfortable lifestyle, the President uses the money to build his own fantasy home.Why wasn’t the money put to better use?

  • Jacqueline Kanyange 13215303

    From the above article, it is clearly seen that President Jacob Zuma knowingly used tax payers funds for upgrading his home which should not be the case.These funds should be used for the betterment of the country and the tax payers should not be exploited in such a manner.Focus should instead be on developmental projects such as housing,health, and the like.

  • Sydne Watson

    The Nkandla Report, clearly shows evidence of the Presidents involvement of the Nkandla Project. It gives clear evidence that the people involved with the construction of President Zuma’s house had received instructions by the President himself, and that in some cases the project had to wait for President Zuma’s consent to carry on with construction. Extracts from the Nkandla Report show his involvement in this project and that he was well-aware of the fact that tax money was to be used to fund this project. This is just another example of how corrupt this country is becoming, we are no longer moving forward but rather moving away from democratic country, people fought for so many years ago.

  • vuyok2

    South Africa is being ruled by self serving people such as president Zuma ,the ideologies that people such as Mandela stood for have been abandoned. Even when all the evidence pointing to president Zuma is there he still denies he had any involvement in the lavish spending at Nkandla, this is a betrayal of the south African people and mostly all the ANC supporters who live in poverty while the president who they elected is living a lavish life while not doing much to increase their standards of living. This is a betrayal to the pre-apartheid ANC ,for those who fought so hard to try and achieve an equal free society.

  • Jeremy Lucas 13075480

    The fact that Zuma was so closely considered during the construction of his residence shows that he did in fact have an intimate knowledge of what as going on. While no proof is given that Zuma inquired about the cost, I do not believe that he was completely clueless to the enormity of the costs of the upgrades. The upgrades are unlawful as the the correct procedures were not followed. As the leader of a country Zuma must accept more responsibility and take the fall if he does something wrong. We need a responsible and trustworthy leader if we are to move forward and allow the country to grow to its full potential.

  • Tiffany Crous 14080797

    The fact that President Zuma failed to acknowledge where the funds for the Nkandla project would come from, as well as the possibilities of lowering some expenditures, shows that there is a lack of regard for the value of hard – earned by the tax payer. As all aspects of the project were discussed with him before implementing them, one would think that he would want to know how the procedures were to be funded.

  • Tiphaine 14428360

    The report clearly stated that the President was aware of the fact that taxpayers’ money was being used as he was involved in the decision; and even if he was ignorant it would not have sufficed as a valid excuse. It is the president’s responsibility to ensure that public money is spent lawfully. He should protect the public interest, especially in a country such as South Africa where poverty rates are extremely high. This
    scandal demonstrates the effect that corruption has on the country. This is not the first incidence which resulted in South Africans having lost confidence in their President. Moreover, this event also illustrates the fact that this is a country where the government/President’s actions can be questioned, which is a fundamental element of democracy. Therefore the President must accept his responsibilities and pay back the money which is due.

  • 14095476

    Any denial from the president of him using tax money to fund the construction at his home in Nkandla are most definitely false.
    It is evident from the public protector’s report that he was intimately involved in majority of the decision-making processes. None of the construction workers, architects or landscapers could continue without the president’s consent since it is his home.

    From the multiple examples only shown in this article, it is quite clear that the president was involved in and had knowledge of the plans being made and implemented. His indication to the public protector that he requested a kraal be built due to the fact that his number of cows has increased and then the later statement where he claims he would refund the state for this cost, proves that he was aware of the taxpayer-funded aspects of the construction.
    He very quickly slipped up in that interview and this should bring the public’s attention to the fact that he cannot govern our country because he doesn’t have the country’s best interests at heart. Sections 83b, 96(2)b and 195b of the constitution impose a constitutional duty on the president to protect state resources. Also, being head cabinet member, he is accountable for state actions. Since the president has not acted in the best interest of the public, it can be concluded that he is in violation of the constitution. The constitution is our supreme law, therefore action should be taken against the president since he is in violation thereof.
    Lastly, the country needs to step up and actively change this. The president of this country is using public funds for personal benefit but there is no point in complaining if we re-elect him as president.

  • 14921499

    The presedent definitely knew about every aspect of the Nkandla project and he knew that what was happening was wrong . I wonder if this finding by the public protector will open South – Africans eyes because if we as a country re-ellect president Zuma after him misusing the public funds for his own benefit and not for the benefit of our country then we can only blame ourselves for this unlegal misuse of our tax money the next time. South Africans sould ask themself before they vote: Is president Zuma capable of leading a country to its best? I strongly doubt it. He sould be held accountable for the renovations that has been made at Nkandla becuase if he gets away with this and gets re – elected who knows how many public funds will disappear next time. Constitutionally the president was wrongfully using public funds and need to be confronted for his crime after all the constitution is supreme in SA and even the president should consider the law as his higher authority.

  • Clerence Kgatla (13284682)

    The report clearly indicates that the President had Knowledge about the costs that arose as a result of building Nkandla.Ministers should have advised the President in the best possible way regarding the upgrades at his private homestead.Therefore it makes sense that the President could have abused his executive powers.It is a good aspect that the Public Protector has made us aware of the funds used and how the President’s family benefited from taxpayers’ money.We can make our conclusions regarding the report and how we view it.

  • Nyarai Chigumira 13132416

    From
    what was presented in the Nkandla report, it is clear that President Zuma knew
    what was going on, even if he did not know everything to its finest detail, he
    knew the upgrades that were taking place. Yes it makes sense for a President to
    require an upgrade on his home for security purposes, but to use R246 million
    is unacceptable and unheard of. Some of the upgrades were for his personal use
    such as the swimming pool and the amphitheatre, just to name a few, which were
    unnecessary and could have been funded at his own expense.

    How are we then meant to have faith in such a corrupt
    Government, in such a corrupt President that has been in the headlines
    constantly over the past few years. President Zuma denied involvement, but yet
    he was updated constantly on the progress of his home and had even hired his
    own private architect to work on the project. Moreover he mislead Parliament by
    stating that he was unaware of what exactly was happening and that he did not
    use state funds. Our Constitution is supreme which means that not even the
    President is above it, therefore action should be taken against him.The best
    solution would be for him to accept responsibility and repay the tax payers
    money that was used.

  • Nyarai Chigumira 13132416

    From
    what was presented in the Nkandla report, it is clear that President Zuma knew
    what was going on, even if he did not know everything to its finest detail, he
    knew the upgrades that were taking place. Yes it makes sense for a President to
    require an upgrade on his home for security purposes, but to use R246 million
    is unacceptable and unheard of. Some of the upgrades were for his personal use
    such as the swimming pool and the amphitheatre, just to name a few, which were
    unnecessary and could have been funded at his own expense.

    How are we then meant to have faith in such a corrupt
    Government, in such a corrupt President that has been in the headlines
    constantly over the past few years. President Zuma denied involvement, but yet
    he was updated constantly on the progress of his home and had even hired his
    own private architect to work on the project. Moreover he mislead Parliament by
    stating that he was unaware of what exactly was happening and that he did not
    use state funds. Our Constitution is supreme which means that not even the
    President is above it, therefore action should be taken against him.The best
    solution would be for him to accept responsibility and repay the tax payers
    money that was used.

  • Winique Marnewick

    I believe that the president was fully aware of everything that was happening concerning the construction at Nkandla, the report provides so much evidence of this. Why he went through with the unnecessary use of taxpayers money is puzzling. Why are ANC attacking public protector, Thuli Madonsela, because I believe this could not have happened at a worst time for them. I have respect for her, she stands her ground.

  • Wisani Nkuna (14187087)

    It is clear in the report that the president was fully aware of what was happening with regards to the Nkandla project. It is alarming that he denies his involvement in the whole project and he doesn’t seem to be planning to take responsibility for his actions. It is sad how some people are living “the good life” while millions in the the country starve. With this kind of leadership our country’s development will remain stagnant. Our president cannot be trusted.

  • Janice Ncube 13203747

    The Public Protector’s Report makes it evident the extent to which the President was involved in the Nklandla project which he claims was for his own protection but benefited his family extensively. Taxpayers money cannot be used for such a huge project without any consent from the president himslelf. He has to ensure the money is being used responsibly and to the public’s interest as well.
    Many aspects of the project where signed off by the President and no further construction could take place without consent from him. The swimming pool the kraal are just a few examples of personal upgrades that the President did using public funds.
    Yes, some of the features where for security purposes but where not proposed neccessary by the security team which leads us to question the true purpose of the Nkandla project. Did the President start the project purely for personal gain or did he intend to increase his personal security and welbeing of the community? Most of the features of this project seem to enhance the the Nkandla homstead.
    It is up to the public to change this corrupt behaviour and ensure that the tax they pay does not go to funding personal interests of the President.

  • M. Makhubedu 14059712

    The above article clearly reveals that Jacob Zuma knew most
    details that he claims to have not known about. It is even clear that he gave consent to some of the construction projects happening at Nkandla and also the fact that he knew that the taxpayer’s money was involved. From all of this it can be concluded that our president’s leadership is based on corruption and greed rather than serving with honesty and integrity .There are people who constantly appear on the news complaining about problems such as a lack of housing and
    lack of water which are simple basic needs that everyone should have access to. It is ironic because the president is using money which could help eradicate such problems for his own personal use. An issue like this shows a true and deeper meaning to the statement “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer” which is sad. This issue raises a number of questions? Questions such as what will happen now? Will Zuma pay for what he has wrongfully done or will he be let off free because of his social, political and economic status? Another
    question is what does this say about our county, the ANC and the government?

  • Charmaine Mathethebane

    What happened to the man who solemnly swore to “maintain and observe the constitution of the republic”?.The only well-being that the president is devoted to is his own and that of his family!.To knowingly misuse state funds to fund his own lavish lifestyle is unconstitutional and is a mockery of the presidential oath he took.Our head of state did not act in “good faith” nor is he interested in the ideal of good governance and to act oblivious to the “upgrades” made to nkandla is an insult to our people.Elections are crucial,can we please vote with our heads and not with some false loyalty to a political party that is now a shadow of its former self.

  • Darragh Meaker

    This is yet another example to illustrate the inefficiency of
    our government. Once again, our president attempts to blind the public in his lucrative manner by acting as if the happenings of the Nkandla project are occurring without his knowledge or consent. However, this article allows us to make a clear and accurate assumption that he is in fact thoroughly involved.
    The findings in the report clearly show his involvement in the construction of Nkandla. What astounds readers is Zuma’s ability to lie about his involvement when there is blatant evidence proving that he was in fact involved. Evidence from the report makes this clear to the reader as well with his inability to answer questions with conviction. Once again, the public is forced to doubt his motives and question (with every right) where their tax money is going.
    Thus it is clear that our President has no intention of easing
    the expenditure of his luxuries which the public are forced to pay for.

  • Jabulani

    The first thing you ask the person who is going to renovate your home is “how much is it going to cost?”. The following questions would have to be “what is going to change and where is the change going to be?”. The story that our president consistently narrates about not knowing anything is utterly ludicrous! Jacob Zuma must own up to his faults and pay back the tax-payers money!

  • Kyle Grunewald – 14094925

    The Nkandla report clearly contradicts the President’s previous statements regarding the expenditure at his private residence and I therefore find this to be highly concerning. Not only did the president misuse state funds for his private residence near Nkandla, but also lied to the nation in an attempt to get away with it. The president clearly signed off on many matters regarding the project at his private residence and can in no way claim that he was unaware of the manner in which state funds were being abused for many other lavish improvements besides the mentioned security upgrades. In a country where state funds could have been put to far better use, it is a shame to see them being used for luxuries and other non essential upgrades, especially due to the fact this was done by the man holding the highest office in the country, a man who is meant to be a national role model.

  • 13203241

    Just another example of how corrupt the government really is, denying the fact that he had no involvement of the improvement on his house would obviously be a lie. There is proof in the reports that Jacob Zuma knew about the renovations done to his home and he even delegated some of the renovations himself. While millions of Rands tax payers money is spent on giving the president a lavish home when in fact they could use it on rebuilding houses for those in need, the houses the president promised the nation he would build. The question is as a President how could he have done this to his nation? Surely he would have the integrity to know that spending that amount of money is an outrageous amount to spend on a security upgrade?

  • Burm12015904

    It is a sad realization we as South Africans face when we find that the leader of our nation, the one who is expected to lead by example. The one to guide us to a better tomorrow, is in fact a wolf in sheep clothing. Who after being found guilty of his involvement in stealing our, the tax-payer’s money and using it for his personal gain, still blatantly and without remorse denies his involvement and to this day has not received any form of punishment.

    In any other case of corruption or fraud (of any individual), whether in South Africa or abroad the accused would be treated with a zero tolerance policy if found guilty. Now though it seems that the President is acting above the law and using the ANC as a safety net in prolonging the investigation and covering up his mistakes

    This being said brings the question to mind that under the implementation of law in South Africa are we all really seen as equals? Or are some more equal than others?

  • Devan Baird (14078750)

    The contradictions from the presidents denial statements, to the physical evidence in the Nkandla report is overwhelming. There is extensive evidence which raises the questions, why is nothing happening? How can there be so much evidence but no consequences? The blatant use of public funds and denying any involvement in this matter is nothing more than childish. This also shows the corruption of our government and how far and where their corruption has spread to. The extensive evidence of violating the laws of this country with no consequences shows how the president feels he is above the law, and that clearly we are not all equal before the law. He has lied blatantly to the public and shown that all these funds were not used just for security purposes but for personal home improvements as well. the president may feel that the public is blind but he may soon realize that he is the one that needs the guide dog.

  • Luca Brice

    It is unacceptable for our State president, Mr Jacob Zuma, to deny the fact that he knows about the construction and improvements at his own home. By doing this he puts all the blame on the architects and construction workers. It was proven by the report that he knew what was happening and that he even asked for some of the renovations,like the kraal to be built.

    I believe that a person who cannot take responsibility for his own actions is not capable to govern a whole country. I feel that Jacob Zuma is abusing his power as President. It is permitted for a President’s personal home to be upgraded using state funds, but these upgrades can only be used for security purposes. He went and used state funds to better his home far beyond just security upgrades. This shows that he has no concern for the people of South Africa and will use the tax payers money,not to better the lives of the people of the country, but to waste it on his own personal home, and then even denies knowing about the use of the state funds.

    The president has an obligation towards the people of his country. And right now he is not fulfilling that obligation.

  • fiona

    We have less to be proud of- public servants strikes, increasing unemployment and lack of leadership. A Perfect government we will never have. how can the president claim to know little about is. Maladminstration, fraud, corruption or different forms of financial misconduct does not only damage or have negative impact on one specific politician or department but it also affects the country as a whole. poverty, poor health, lowlife expectancy, unequal distriubtion of income and wealth the list goes on and on. Whe will we be free of such.

  • 13157559

    As South Africa enters a time of political turmoil – yes i’m referring to the national elections, stunts like these doesn’t do the ANC’s already fragile state any justice. What is more worrying is the fact that the president of our country blatantly denies the fact that he has had, not one, but both hands in the cookie jar – so to speak. More ironically though is that he even denies it after being proven wrong with hardcore evidence laid at his feat. Why should we, as taxpayers, who slave for a mediocre salary daily, pay for the presidents “upgrade” of 246 million rand ? Yes, as president of a country you do get certain advantages, but that doesnt mean he should take advantage of the faith people entrusted in him as our country’s leader. After all, isn’t a leader supposed to work for his people and they for him/her in return. Jacob Zuma’s utter greed and lack of respect for our legal system and not to mention the legacy Madiba left behind, is mortifying and I’m sure our dearest Nelson Mandela is turning in his grave as we speak. It comes as no surprise as to why South Africa isn’t prospering as it should, comparing South Africa to places such as America would be too much of a practical joke to even begin with all the comparisons. With all that being said, I do feel South African citizens need to realise that the ANC isnt serving the people any more, but serving themselves. If greed and corruption is what keeps South Africa going, as a nation, we either need to start standing together, or continue down the road of disarray.

  • Neo Modibedi

    It seems absurd that our head of state has absolutely no idea how R200 million of state funds were invested in the upgrading of his residence with neither his knowledge nor his approval. His silence and denial of the matter does, however, make quite some sense. In the run up to what will be a closely-contested national election in May, anything that President Zuma says regarding the matter could derail his train to a second term in office much more precipitously than his current silence on the matter. Whether he would be acting in accordance with the constitution is another matter altogether, and one that should be dealt with in isolation.

  • Todd

    Inaccurate. She spent more than 50 000 Swedish kronor (about R85 000) on private expenses. The controversy was dubbed the “Toblerone Affair” because some toblerone bars were included on the credit card statement. I get the point you were trying to make, but don’t sensationalise nonsense. Stepping down for buying a chocolate? Come on man :)

  • http://karinandanthony.com Karin Lundgren

    Hi Todd, you are absolutely correct thats my mistake. But yes, my point being that R10 of the public funds, deliberately spent purely for own benefit, is more than enough reason to have your president, party leader or similar, step down, in my opinion.