A hero's welcome for Zuma in Tlokwe
President Jacob Zuma arrived to rapturous applause at an ANC event in Tlokwe.
JOHANNESBURG - As South Africans digest the findings of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla report, President Jacob Zuma arrived to rapturous applause at an ANC event in Tlokwe in the North West this afternoon.
Madonsela's report, which was released yesterday, found Zuma and his family unduly benefitted from the upgrades to his Nkandla home.
She also revealed the cost of the project has ballooned to almost R250 million.
Zuma is attending an ANC election campaign event in Tlokwe, marking the first time since the report's release that he's faced a large ruling party crowd in public.
He arrived to cheers and applause.
A visibly confident Zuma waved to his supporters who scrambled to catch a glimpse of the president as he arrived in a convoy accompanied by heavy security.
Zuma was accompanied by Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane and several other high-ranking ANC officials.
The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) slated Madonsela's findings and gave her a stern warning to keep her hands off Zuma.
The league said they had already decided Zuma would remain the president of the ruling party for a second term and also leader of the country.
Several speakers at the event also slated Madonsela and the Democratic Alliance (DA).
This follows this morning's call by opposition parties for the president to resign or for the ANC to take strong action against him.
Zuma initially appeared confident when he was loudly cheered by his supporters, but later seemed exhausted and appeared to be struggling to join in on the upbeat mood.
DA, EFF LAY CHARGES
Meanwhile, a leadership delegation from the DA has now formally laid criminal charges against Zuma at the Nkandla police station.
The party's visit was accompanied by a heavy security presence, with a large police contingent deployed to the rural village.
The charges against Zuma relate to the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act as well as defeating the ends of justice.
The delegation included DA Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane, federal chairperson Wilmot James, the party's youth leader Mbali Ntuli, DA Kawzulu-Natal leader Sizwe Mchunu and provincial chair Haniff Hoosen.
Eight charges were laid by Maimane and the grouping.
Maimane described the upgrades as an outright abuse of office.
"Never in my life have I faced such a complete abuse of state privilege. As South Africans, we should all be completely disturbed."
He said schools and houses for the poor had been traded to build Zuma's home.
Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has opened a case with four charges against Zuma in Pretoria this afternoon.
Several hundred of the party's supporters gathered outside the police station to hear Malema address them after meeting with the station commander.
Malema says the president is now the subject of Sunnyside case number 652/03/2014.
"We opened a fraud case, a corruption case and a case of theft of public money."
He also expects the police to investigate Zuma's ministers.
"We added a charge of racketeering because they are an organisation of criminals."
Malema says the president must not just be expected to pay back the money, but be arrested and prosecuted too.
A 2010 aerial view of Nkandla taken off Google Earth.
The latest aerial view of Nkandla taken in August 2013 which was taken by an aerial mapping company using a hi-tech, high-altitude mapping aircraft.
MADONSELA DEFENDS HER REPORT
Madonsela has questioned why some people are prepared to listen to government's own task team, which has no legal status, over an independent organisation established by the Constitution.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela releases the findings about Nkandla homestead during a press conference in Pretoria on 19 March 2014.
Earlier today, the ANC hinted that a legal process could be needed to resolve discrepancies between Madonsela's Nkandla report and the findings of an inter-ministerial task team.
The Public Protector also denied that her office was responsible for the delay in the release of the report, saying the blame lay at the door of government.
Madonsela said her report had more weight than the one conducted by government.
"People are prepared to listen to a task team that has no legal basis whatsoever by a department that is under scrutiny, but they aren't prepared to listen to a Constitutional body."
Madonsela also revealed her suspicion that some people were hired to protest against her earlier reports, despite not knowing what the actual findings were.
"It was clear no one even bothered to give them an executive summary of the decisions they were supposed to protest against."
Yesterday, the Public Protector said the Presidency took nine months to respond to her Nkandla findings.