528 President Jacob Zuma's homestead at KwaNxamalala, Inkandla in KwaZulu-Natal. 121012. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu


Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela must reveal the truth about the reported R200 million upgrade to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residence, Cosatu said.

Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said in a statement on Monday that the trade union federation was concerned about the reports.

“(We) note, however, that the Public Protector is investigating the situation and we hope that the government will collaborate with her to get to the root of the allegations,” he said.

“We shall therefore not comment until her report is published.”

Craven said Cosatu hoped the Public Protector and public works would get to the bottom of the matter.

“If the government can produce figures to show that an equal amount of money is being spent elsewhere, there can be no problem if President Zuma is benefiting as a citizen of South Africa,” he said.

Suspended African National Congress Youth League spokesman Floyd Shivambu criticised the SA Communist Party on Tuesday for its support of Zuma against widespread condemnation of the upgrades.

KwaZulu-Natal secretary Themba Mthembu said development in Nkandla was part of rural development.

Shivambu said the provincial SACP were holding onto the idea of rural development “like drowning men and women clinging on straws”.

“This is the communist party, which will mobilise the working class and the poor to go sing and dance in defence of such callous usage of state resources, which can benefit thousands of many people in and outside Nkandla,” he said.

“Whilst the foot-soldiers in KwaZulu-Natal misnamed it rural development, the ideological puppet masters in Cosatu House, now based in Pretoria, call it a 'necessary security upgrade' for the president.”

He said it was not justifiable to spend so much money on the private residence of anyone, even a sitting president.

“ANC members should save the ANC... because if not, we will soon be deprived of the right to say that Mr Jacob Zuma is direction-less, lacks capacity, lacks morals, lacks integrity, lacks (the) intelligence, wisdom and knowledge to save South Africa.” he said.

“(Comedian) George Carlin was correct when he said, 'Never underestimate the power of stupid people, in large numbers'.” - Sapa