Cape Town - The DA has taken on the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in an April Fools prank statement on Tuesday.
The party said it was pleased to announce that the Western Cape government would pay for a multi-million rand upgrade to Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille's home in Cape Town.
“Following the recent trend of public money being used for upgrades to private residences, Ms Zille is excited to see what this upgrade will do to the value of her family home, which is to be renamed 'Amandla',” the statement said.
“The initial upgrade is planned for about R20 million, but according to Western Cape Finance Minister, Alan Winde, 'everyone knows that these things often run way over budget, so the Western Cape Government has set aside R246 million for inevitable cost overruns'.”
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on Nkandla found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the R246 million upgrades to his homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, and that he should pay back a portion of the money that did not go towards improving security upgrades.
Zuma said on Sunday that he did not ask for the upgrades and they were done without informing him.
“So why should I pay for something I did not ask for?” he asked.
The DA's mock statement said the upgrades to Zille's home would include security features. It also poked fun at Public Works Thulas Nxesi and a task team report into Nkandla that was initially classified.
“The full details of the upgrade are classified, but the project manager for the upgrade, Mr Tell Us Nxesi, is able to confirm that Zille’s new home will include a 'decontamination Jacuzzi', a 'security surveillance theatre', an 'underground safety gym', and an 'emergency helipad that will also serve as a tennis court,” the party quipped.
“When quizzed about whether she thought the upgrades were defensible, Ms Zille responded: 'I didn’t ask for these upgrades. I am the Premier, sure, but I don’t get involved in any actual decisions. I just work here.’ ”
The statement also said Winde was considering the introduction of e-tolls in the Western Cape
“We will obviously tell people that their money is being used to upgrade the roads and stuff.”
The DA also created a response from the African National Congress.
It quoted ANC spokesman “Jack Daniels Mthembu” as saying: “The DA thinks it can behave like a real government. But Zille is racist - we built Zuma’s palace in the rural areas where development is needed.
“The DA is building their palace in the city. We will be reporting this matter to the Public Protector for investigation,” the fake Mthembu said.
The real Jackson Mthembu and ANC spokesman Keith Khoza could not immediately be reached for comment.
The DA statement ended with a sign-off by Zille's spokesman Cameron “Mac” Arendse, in reference to presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj. - Sapa