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Vol 55 No 5

Published 7th March 2014

South Africa

The political costs of Nkandla

Just how important the cost of Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead has become for his presidency and the elections was clear from the way it dominated a private meeting at South Africa House in London on 1 March, just before the former President Nelson Mandela's memorial service. The Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane, gave the first detailed account of the 206 million rand (US$19.32 mn.) expenditure on the ranch, which he insisted was all about security, not presidential splendour. Photographs of the homestead seen by Africa Confidential resemble a middle-class British housing development – expensive but not opulent.

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