20 March 2013

South Africa: 'Nkandlagate': President Zuma Denies Receiving Letter Which Proves He Knew

press release

President Zuma has unconditionally denied ever receiving a letter addressed to him from the former Minister of Public Works, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, setting out the details of the upgrade at his home in Nkandla.

This letter signed by both the Minister and Deputy Minister of Public Works was addressed to President Zuma directly. How is it that a letter from a cabinet minister, addressed to the President, could not have been received and read by the President's office?

I will request that the Office of the President and the Department of Public Works provide a full explanation as to why this letter was not received, if indeed this is the case, and that a report be submitted to Parliament setting out the details to this effect.

The President's attempt to tap dance around MP's questions today points to a fundamental problem: there was obviously an effort to inform him about the details of the upgrade -including the non-security items (as contained in the letter). But the President took no active steps to establish why such exorbitant developments were taking place at his private home.

His claim is that he decided: 'I won't ask, so that I don't know.' This is unbecoming of a President of the Republic who ought to have intervened, when cabinet ministers were actively trying to inform him of the details.

Furthermore, the President again revealed in the National Assembly today, that he is unwilling to concede that spending so much money on his private home is morally and ethically reprehensible and should be condemned.

This is clearly not a President who has the best interests of South Africans at heart. If he did, he would answer our questions in full, and put this matter to rest.

Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance

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