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DA & ANC go head to head on Nkandla

The DA & ANC are taking part in a debate in Oudtshoorn as part of their election campaigns.

DA demonstrators gather outside the High Court in Johannesburg while court proceedings are underway over an Nkandla SMS sent out by the opposition party against the ruling ANC. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Nkandla report has taken centre stage at a debate between the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Oudtshoorn.

The two parties are going head to head in the Karoo town, where both the DA and ANC are taking part in election campaigning.

The Nkandla report is a topic that just cannot be ignored, despite ANC's Western Cape leader Marius Fransman's best efforts to divert the attention away from the issue at today's debate.

It found that President Jacob Zuma benefitted from upgrades to his KwaZulu-Natal homestead, which had nothing to do with security, violated the executive ethics code and should pay back a portion of the money spent.

Madonsela has given Zuma until today to account to Parliament.

The matter was one of the first issues to be debated between Fransman and the DA's Ivan Meyer.

Fransman has defended President Jacob Zuma, but did admit there was gross overspending on his private home.

Meyer hit back by questioning the credibility of the president, saying he used his private architect to head up the contentious upgrades.

Meanwhile, party supporters heckled and jeered as Fransman and Meyer went at it.

The president's office says he will meet the Public Protector's deadline by responding in writing to the Speaker of Parliament before the end of the day.

Meanwhile, in Johannesburg the ANC has taken the DA to court this morning to stop the country's main opposition from what it calls "poisoning the electoral environment".

The matter relates to an SMS the DA is sending out to potential voters accusing President Jacob Zuma of stealing public money to upgrade his Nkandla home.

The ANC's Jackson Mthembu says, "We can't afford our electoral environment to be poisoned by lies, therefore the court must stop the DA so that all of us can be governed by the same rules and laws."

But the DA's Mmusi Maimane says the party stands by its move.

"The money was taken away from projects that had to do with housing and inner city regeneration. When you take money out of that then it becomes clear that the money was stolen."