PRETORIA: (By Muhammad Faisal)—President Jacob Zuma has heaved a sigh of relief after South Africa government gave him clean chit by clearing him of case of misappropriating state money to refurbish his private house at Nkandla. The improvement of his Nkandla home has shaped into a big political controversy in South Africa.
Legally, he is no more threatened but politically damage has been done. In the eyes of Public, he abused the state funds even his own political party has been divided over the issue. Some in his party African National Congress (ANC) has started lobbying to replace him with other before election to prevent likely public backlash.
Though Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi stated that residence upgrade was direly required for security reasons. But a provisional report by South Africa’s ombudsman have thirsted upon Mr. Zuma to repay some of the $20m (£12m) cost.
Owing fierce uproar, Mr Zuma was observed booed at the memorial service of former president Nelson Mandela, in Johannesburg last week.
Many people alleged their leaders with enjoying lavish lifestyles, while they are forced to live in poverty nearly 20 years after white minority regime ended.
Mr Zuma is likely to spearhead the governing African National Congress (ANC) into elections next year, but some powerful members of the party have begun lobbying for him to be replaced.
Jacob Zuma has claimed a number of times that he has done nothing wrong. “No state funds were misused to upgrade president’s private residence,” said Mr Nxesi as he issued the findings of a government investigation into the refurbishment.
Mr Nxesi clarified that the Zuma’s house was improved spending state money on the house, in the rural district of Nkandla due to security reasons. “KwaZulu-Natal area has violent history and Zuma homestead and family members were previously attacked thrice, and the fact that the president has to hold government functions, such as welcoming official delegations, needed major security upgrades,” he added.
The upgrades featured a visitors’ lounge, amphitheatre, cattle enclosure, swimming pool and houses for the president’s relatives.