Pretoria — The Presidency has noted weekend newspaper reports implying that President Jacob Zuma may have misled the National Assembly when he said he had a mortgage bond on his residence in Nkandla.
"We reaffirm that President Zuma does indeed have a bond on the residence with one of the national banks and he is still paying it off monthly.
"We urge the media to respect the agencies that are investigating the various aspects of the security enhancements at the residence as speculations and rumour-mongering will not assist the process," the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday.
Zuma told Members of Parliament last Thursday that his family, and not government, paid for his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
"My residence in Nkandla has been paid for by the Zuma family. All the buildings and every room we use in that residence, was built by ourselves as a family and not by government. I have never asked government to build a home for me, and it has not done so," said Zuma.
He labelled as a lie reports that government had built his home.
"The house being paraded on television as being built by government is not true. The Zuma family has built its own home for its own comfort. I'm happy that the investigations are taking place."
Giving a history of his homestead, Zuma said that his two houses had been burnt down on two occasions at a time of political unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.
When times had normalized, he had taken out a bond to rebuild his home. He was still paying off this bond. "I engaged the bank. I'm still paying a bond on the first phase of my home."
Zuma pledged to co-operate with any agency instructed to undertake official investigations into his house, adding that he would not try to preempt the outcome.
"I fully support these investigations. We will not preempt the outcome of these investigations or respond to speculation at this stage. We must respect the institutions that are investigating, and the processes that have been started," he said on Thursday.
The President said should the investigations unearth wrongdoing of any kind, "the necessary actions will be taken, as we have done in respect of irregularity in other instances".