Zuma: I’m not a liability to the ANC

The president defended upgrades to his home & said he hasn’t been implicated in corruption.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture:Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - ANC President Jacob Zuma on Monday denied claims he was a liability to the ruling party.

He also defended the R246 million upgrades to his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, revealing that one of his wives was raped there.

The president made the comments earlier at an ANC briefing in Parktown, Johannesburg.

Zuma summed up the ANC's election campaign as "wonderful".

He said he's a leader of a country, not a project manager and has no time to oversee construction at his house.

Zuma said only the media and opposition parties consider the almost R250 million upgrades to be a scandal.

"It's not an issue with the voters, it's an issue with the bright people - people who thought using Nkandla would be an important thing for the elections. It hasn't worked."

He justified the security upgrades to his home, reminding the nation that his house had been burned and burgled, and his wife raped.

"It's very much unfair because you are given a picture of Zuma's house and the narrative isn't correct.

"I'm not worried about Nkandla, it's not my problem. It's the problem of the people that have been campaigning. In all the provinces I have been to, not a single person has asked me a question [about Nkandla]."

He said government had a duty to secure the homes of presidents.

The president said he's been cleared of any corruption or wrongdoing.

Zuma said the issue of whether he will have to pay back some of the money spent will be dealt with at a later stage as will a finding made by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that he violated the executive ethics code.

He said two separate investigations, one by government and another by Madonsela, have both cleared him.

"Both reports don't say the president is corrupt. They don't say that the president has spent R250 million."

Madonsela report released in March found Zuma benefitted unduly from upgrades to his private home.

He said while some people wanted to forget the past, it was the past that created the problems of today.

Zuma said the ANC and its representatives in government had delivered more than any other country on the African continent.

He also spoke about political hot-spots, saying the threat of violence is a deep concern but guaranteed that Wednesday's elections will be safe.