South African Government Littered With Scandal, ex-Minister Says

A former cabinet minister and national executive committee member of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, Pallo Jordan, has called President Jacob Zuma’s administration “littered with scandal.”

Jordan criticized Zuma’s ministers responsible for the 215 million-rand ($20 million) upgrade at his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, calling their “complacency” in the matter “depressing.” Former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel yesterday said in a radio interview that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill at an individual’s house, Johannesburg-based Business Day newspaper reported.

“Scandals, financial or otherwise, have undermined the credibility of the ANC and have demoralized not only its membership but also millions of its supporters,” Jordan wrote in a letter published in Johannesburg-based Business Day today.

Graft ombudsman Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on March 19 said money used to pay for the work, which included building a swimming pool that was called a fire-fighting reservoir, a chicken coop and an amphitheater, was taken from Department of Public Works projects such as the regeneration of inner-city areas.

South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance has called for Zuma to be impeached. The party needs a two-thirds majority of members of the lower house to remove the president, according to the constitution. The ANC’s chief whip, Stone Sizani, said yesterday the impeachment calls were premature.

South Africans will go to the polls on May 7 to elect new national and provincial governments.

ANC spokesman Keith Khoza hadn’t yet read the letter and asked to be contacted later, he said by phone today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at avisser3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net Ana Monteiro, Karl Maier

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