'No grounds for criminal charges against Zuma'

The ANC says charges laid by political parties against Zuma is 'cheap electioneering'.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) says there are no grounds for criminal charges to be laid against President Jacob Zuma over the Nkandla debacle.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have both opened criminal cases against the president, following the damaging findings of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's probe into spending on Zuma's private residence.

Madonsela on Wednesday released her much-anticipated report on the over R200 million upgrades following a two-year long investigation.

Her report found Zuma and his family benefitted from the upgrades and called on the president to account to Parliament within two weeks.

She said government failed to exercise power within the law and in the public interest.

The ruling party has accused opposition parties of cheap electioneering.

The ANC's Keith Khoza says the campaigning is calculated to undermine the president and his office.

But the DA's Bobby Stevenson says the facts have been made clear by Madonsela's report.

"There's nothing cheap about the facts that are put on the table. The facts are clear, R246 million has not been spent correctly and the people of this country are very angry."

EFF leader Julius Malema yesterday said Zuma deserved to "rot in jail" for misleading Parliament and the public.

MADONSELA RESPONDS TO ANCYL

Madonsela earlier reacted to the African National Congress Youth League's calls for her to resign by urging its members to do some reading.

On Thursday, the league slammed Madonsela for her report into upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla home, calling her "media crazy" and suggesting she was in cohorts with opposition parties.

But Madonsela said the league was allowing itself to be abused without understanding the issues surrounding the Nkandla controversy.

Madonsela spoke at the University of the Witwatersrand on Thursday afternoon during a special Eyewitness News /Wits discussion on her office's report on its investigation into Zuma's Nkandla home.

Picture: EWN.

Madonsela said the upgrades to Zuma's private residence were done "cowboy style".

She said spending was so "excessive" and "obscene" that no single human being could pay back the entire amount.

She said she hopes the Special Investigating Unit will dig deeper.

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 also pointed out the role of Zuma's private architect Minenhle Makhanya, who allegedly received R16,5 million from the controversial project.

"Instead of the chef cooking the food that had been agreed to, he started designing new menus."

The public protector said gaps in government policy must be plugged as soon as possible.

"If the officials stuck to those rules, they would never have extended privileges to the president that he doesn't deserve."

Meanwhile, the presidency said the report will be studied and the president will respond in time.

Video: Bruce Whitfield explains the cost of Nkandla to the tax payer.

Click here to view the full Nkandla report.