African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the opposition had decided to call for his impeachment prior to the release of the Nkandla report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
“The call by some opposition parties for impeachment is a premeditated decision,” Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.
He said the biggest problem with the cost security upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal was “inflation of prices”.
“This project is a sample to say we should look at whether prices aren’t inflated in other areas.”
All officials involved “must be brought to book” and all funds acquired inappropriately must be paid back, said Mantashe.
Mantashe said the ANC did not intend to undermine the validity of the report.
“We are neither intending to ignore or undermine the validity of the report. There is no such intention within the ANC.”
The ANC was “relieved” that the report had “finally been released to the public”.
But the timing of the release of the report remained a concern “in terms of the disruptive effect” it would have on all political parties in their campaigning ahead of general elections in May, said Mantashe.
Madonsela released the Nkandla report on Wednesday, saying Zuma should have asked questions about the scale, costs, and affordability of security upgrades which could end up being as much as R240 million.
She found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from upgrades.