President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo.

Cape Town - The DA has welcomed reports that 13 Public Works officials, some of them in senior management, have been charged with maladministration relating to the R246 million in upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence.

However, the party says the charges will be “mired in controversy” so long as politicians in public office avoid accountability.

“We can’t make scapegoats of relatively junior officials. All those implicated must face the law. The politicians involved in the Nkandla scandal can only be held accountable once President Zuma answers to Parliament, and acts on the recommendations made by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, an advocate. This includes paying back some of the money spent on his private residence,” said MP and DA federal executive chairman James Selfe.

City Press reported on Sunday that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) had recommended that officials, whom it named, be charged in connection with upgrades.

Last week, Zuma said he was still considering his response to Parliament about the upgrades at his Nkandla residence after missing a 30-day deadline he had given himself.

Selfe said Zuma had employed “numerous delaying tactics”.

Selfe said the charges laid against the departmental officials were an important step in the right direction, but “the buck does not stop there”.

Political Bureau