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Durban - There was nothing wrong with building a house for an unemployed woman whose husband works for a local municipality, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said.
“The EFF rejects the notion spread by the Sunday Times and other newspapers that the house EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema handed over to the Hlongwane family in Nkandla was handed over to a rich family,” spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement, issued on Sunday evening.
“These allegations are basically nonsensical and a deliberate failure to understand why the house was handed over.”
The Sunday Times reported that the woman who received the house near President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead was far from destitute.
The newspaper reported that S'thandiwe Hlongwane was married to a senior archivist at the KwaZulu-Natal department of arts and culture, who earned around R250 000 a year.
Hlongwane and her husband, Lucky Nene, own at least two other properties and a VW Polo and a Toyota Hilux.
Last year, Hlongwane reportedly took Malema to the ramshackle home where she was brought up.
“(The) EFF sees nothing wrong with building a house for an unemployed lady who is married to a local municipality employee, because we will also be building a house (for) a poor man whose relative is a president of the country,” Ndlozi said.
“The mud houses which the EFF sought to replace with a decent house are still there in Nkandla and they were being used by children of Ms Hlongwane, who could not afford to replace the mud houses with a decent structure.
“The mud houses did not have furniture, no proper doors and did not have beds, and children were sleeping on the mud floor.”
The EFF said no human being should live in a mud house. Ndlozi claimed Hlongwane had two children and no parents, he said.
“Despite the sensationalism that the newspapers are spreading about our genuine intervention, EFF remains proud that we handed over a house with doors and decent furniture to the Hlongwane family, and have changed her life and the life of her children… ” - Sapa