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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday he felt aggrieved by reports around his house in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, telling MPs: “It has not been built by government.”
“All the buildings and every room we use in that residence was built by ourselves as family, and not by government,” he said, responding to a question in the National Assembly.
A clearly upset Zuma said he was “aggrieved” by media reports that government had paid more than R200 million for his home.
“On TV, they showed the house that I paid for. And they lie that it has been built by government. It has not been built by government.
“I have an opportunity today to explain this. Because my name is being used wrongly. My family is being undermined. Even by Honourable Members, who don't ask... what actually happened. And I feel very aggrieved, I must tell you for the first time.”
Referring to a Democratic Alliance march on his Nkandla home earlier this month, led by party leader Helen Zille, the president said he took exception to this.
“You... have leaders of political parties - who don't know whether they're provincial or national - making trips to come and photograph my house. And making a laughing stock of my family. I take exception to this.”
Zuma said the only money spent by government on his home were for security features, including fencing, bullet-proof windows and a bunker.
“I was advised that the security upgrades were... necessary in terms of the National Key Points Act,” he said.
Zuma said he had hired contractors to build extensions to his Nkandla residence. The work had started, but on his becoming president he was told certain security features needed to be incorporated.
He also drew a distinction between work he had authorised, and construction work outside the perimeter of his residence.
“Any other construction undertaken by government outside the perimeter of my home, such as the accommodation for government security personnel, are not part of my residence,” he said. - Sapa