“I told Zuma to pay back the money, but he refused” - Maharaj

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 27, 2015

Former Presidential Spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, reportedly told President Jacob Zuma to pay back the money used for security upgrades at his private Nkandla home.

In an interview with the UK’s Financial Times over the weekend, Maharaj stated he had informed Zuma of paying back the money before the findings of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, saying that the President rejected the request as “I did not ask for those security enhancements”.

“We know how stubborn each of us can be. And we know each of us has a blind spot. But however this thing pans out, what is important is we create a culture of taking responsibility for our actions,” Maharaj said.

He however rejected to reveal any information about his relationship with Zuma when later contacted by the Sunday Times.

“The matter of Nkandla is still with Parliament and the possibly the courts. There is much contestation between the parties on this matter and I do not want my personal views arising from a confidential relationship to become a political football,” he told the paper.

It has meanwhile been claimed that certain media houses had expressed disappointed following a more detailed visit to Nkandla yesterday, after only being allowed to view certain aspect during Parliament’s ad-hoc committee oversight visit last week.

According to reports, many reported signs of unfinished buildings and shoddy build quality not worth the R246-million as indicated in Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report.

Speaking after his visit last week, ad-hoc committee Chairperson Cedric Frolick said the total costs had been “grossly inflated” and raised questions about what the money was actually used for, while ANC MP, Thandi Mahambehlala, later accused Madonsela of lying about the calculated amount.