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S.African opposition want wider probe into Zuma house

South Africa’s opposition on Sunday called on the state ombudsman to widen a probe into controversial $28 million upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private house after allegations that his brothers may have benefited from public funds.

Democratic Alliance parliament leader Lindiwe Mazibuko asked the so-called public protector to extend the investigation into the spending on “Zumaville” to include “the possible improper benefits afforded to members of President Zuma’s family using state resources”.

A newspaper reported on Sunday that it had court documents that suggested Zuma’s brothers Michael and Joseph took delivery of electrical goods listed as part of a project to renovate the president’s house.

According to the Sunday Times, electrical company Voltex sold goods amounting to over 545,000 rand ($61,300, 47,200 euros) to Moneymine Enterprises, one of the companies contracted by the government to revamp Zuma’s rural homestead in the east of the country.

The paper said the documents showed invoices for electrical products “bought for Michael’s and Joseph’s homes, as well as the upgrade of Zuma’s homestead.”

“Several invoices refer to the prestige project (Zuma’s house revamp), while some list the name of the village… where all three homesteads are situated,” it said.

The two brothers do not live at Zuma’s Nkandla complex and have denied receiving the goods.

Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj refused to comment, saying he only speaks on behalf of the president, not his brothers.

The renovations at Zuma’s rural home — which reportedly include a helipad, underground bunkers, fencing and a clinic — have stirred a storm in South Africa.

Zuma insists he paid for everything but the security facilities in the upgrade.

The government has so far has kept silent on the actual cost of “Nkandlagate”, as the revamp has been dubbed, saying the private home had been declared a key point of national security.