Opposition parties have slashed out on the president of South Africa for wasting taxpayers’ money on security upgrades on his rural home they dub as lavish.
South Africa’s Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has justified the spendings and said President Jacob Zuma is not liable to pay any money back.
Nhleko said the money was spent fairly and legitimately on security upgrades. The upgrades that caused a lot of public stir included a swimming pool and animal enclosure.
"The state president is therefore not liable to pay for any of these security features," Nhleko said.
The Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has estimated the security upgrades of costing more than $20 million of government money as opposed to Nhleko.
Madonsela ruled Zuma’s spendings as unnecessary and personal expenses, calling him to repay some of the money.
However, Nhleko defended the swimming pool which he referred to as a “fire pool” as vital for fire-fighting emergencies as a source of water. Nhleko further justified the animal enclosure as keeping the animals from the possibility of turning off the security alarms via the motion sensors.
Nhleko’s brief included a visual presentation which exemplified the swimming pool as a source of refilling pumpers in a fire emergency.
The construction of an auditorium was also questioned, but that was justified as the gathering point for the residents of the extensive compound.
A separate centre for visitors was fortified as a place for the president to host important guests in the safest possible manner.
Leader of the opposition party ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema campaigned with the slogan “pay back the money” and has said he will not give up the fight till Zuma does.
"Every time we meet in parliament and elsewhere we are going to ask him when is he paying back the money," Malema said after Zuma was cleared.
Members of the EFF were forcibly removed from parliament after they chanted “pay the money back” in a parliamentary session.
In another parliamentary hearing on Wednesday, President Zuma slashed opposition parties for their obsession on the issue