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Nkandla: Zuma says he won't pay

The president has spoken out for the first time since Thuli Madonsela released her damning Nkandla report.

President Jacob Zuma has spoken out for the first time since Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her Nkandla report. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has spoken out for the first time since Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a damning report on upgrades at his KwaZulu-Natal home, saying he never asked for them and will not pay back any money.

Zuma addressed a crowd in Gugulethu on Sunday while campaigning for the ANC.

He said criminal charges laid against him by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters over the saga will not stick.

Video: Nkandla explained.

The report found that the president unduly benefitted from R250 million worth of upgrades, violated the executive ethics code and should pay back a portion of the money spent.

Meanwhile, Methodist bishop Paul Verryn told Eyewitness News if politicians don't apologise and deal with the country's wealth disparities, South Africa must prepare for blood.

Verryn says it's still possible for politicians to fix the problems this issue throws up.

"Another provision is they are able to see where they have gone wrong, are prepared to say let's make amends and then we'll stand a chance, otherwise we must prepare for blood."

Archbishop of Durban, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, adds that Madonsela must be protected.

"We have to make sure our public protector is protected and continues her work for this country."

WILL ZUMA HONOUR DEADLINE?

It remains to be seen if Zuma will honour the deadline set by Madonsela to act on the report by Wednesday.

Both government and the ANC asked for time to study the lengthy report but neither have indicated whether Madonsela's findings will be acted upon, and if so, when.

At the weekend, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe became the most senior leader to call for action, saying "what needs to be done must be done".

Madonsela was yesterday quoted as calling for less "howling" and asked why the president needed to be protected given he's not a child or a victim.

The ANC is due to discuss the outcomes of its National Executive Committee meeting later this afternoon.

The big question is whether any action will be taken against Zuma.

There are suggestions that the ruling party will either shield him or leave it up to him to address Parliament as the head of state.

GUGULETHU RESIDENTS LOSE FAITH IN ANC

Some Gugulethu residents say they have lost faith in the ANC after the release of Madonsela's Nkandla report.

While the president received a warm welcome as he walked through the streets of Gugulethu, some residents say they will be voting for another political party in the upcoming elections.

"I can't vote for the ANC because of its corruption."

One resident says she is unfazed by what Zuma has to say.

"We don't have trust in Zuma because of Nkandla and we've lost interest in him."

Meanwhile, the ANC says the DA's days as the governing party in the Western Cape are numbered.

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa was part of a high-level ANC delegation that campaigned in the province at the weekend.

He says the ANC is confident going into the 7 May elections.

"The ANC is going to win the Western Cape, there is just no doubt about that. Our support base is growing phenomenally. The Western Cape is ours!"

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