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Zuma's bunker sparks war of words

The DA and the ANC had a fierce verbal exchange in Parliament over the Nkandla issue.

The Nkandla homestead. Picture: City Press

CAPE TOWN - The construction and expansion of the president's homestead in KwaZulu-Natal has sparked a fierce verbal exchange in parliament.

While Nkandla is not officially dealt with in the National Assembly, a Democratic Alliance MP asked a question about the multimillion rand property upgrade.

Anchen Dreier could not resist raising the Nkandla debacle.

"The fact is at a whopping R15,000 a day, President Zuma could have hired 2000 trucks for a whole week to deliver textbooks to students."

ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga tried to interject by saying that statements must be factually correct.

Dreier was eventually allowed to complete her statement, in which she labeled Zuma an enemy of the poor.

The DA said the issue needs to be debated urgently and has accused government of hiding facts related to the scandal.

EXPOSED

The City Press on Sunday revealed that yet more money was transferred to pay for the upgrade of the Nkandla compound.

The paper reported that the Department of Public Works also approved payments of millions of Rands to contractors last week.

The newspaper said it was in possession of internal documents which showed that 31 new buildings were constructed with one contractor charging the government R8 million per building.

The City Press's Adriaan Basson said the documents contain interesting details.

"The document shows that the final cost tax payers will pay has gone up to R248 million. The documents gave a clear break down as to what this money was spent on. This brings us closer to getting clarity as to what exactly government is paying for."

A few weeks ago, the newspaper brought the issue to light by reporting that taxpayers will pay for 95 percent of the renovations.

It said upgrades, which would amount to a total of R203 million, would include underground living quarters, a health facility for Zuma and his family, a helicopter pad, as well as playgrounds and a centre for visitors.