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These Are The Craziest Excuses South African Prez Used To Justify $24 Mil In Taxpayer Money Spent Revamping His Mansion

The South African president spent $24 million in taxpayer money revamping his home. One of his nominees, tasked with investigating the issue, justified the spending spree as a security upgrade Thursday.

President Jacob Zuma installed an updated swimming pool, chicken run, cattle enclosure, amphitheater and visitors’ center, according to Agence France Presse.

After South Africa’s ombudsman said Zuma “unduly benefited” from the renovations last year, encouraging the family to repay some of the money, the president called Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko to look into the matter.

Nhleko addressed specific enhancements to the president’s private compound in a nearly three-hour press conference.

He claimed the amphitheater was actually a series of terraced retaining walls, according to AFP. The cattle and chicken yards were meant to keep the animals from tripping motion detectors while wandering about.

“The newly updated swimming pool? It doubles as a reserve of water in case of fire. The compound is mainly thatched, after all,” reported Foreign Policy.

Nhleko’s report is heading to Parliament, where, unless a significant opposition mounts against it, members loyal to Zuma will likely accept the findings, and he won’t have to repay any amount.

Zuma is now stranger to controversy. More than 700 corruption charges were dropped against him prior to becoming president in 2009. But Zuma denies influencing authorities to stop the investigation.

More than half of the South African population lives below the poverty line.

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