Former President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence is situated some 25km away South of rural Nkandla Town in Northern KwaZuluNatal. The private home has been a topic of controversy for years.

The use of State funds to upgrade security at the residence amounted to over R246 million led to significant media coverage and political opposition.

A report by the Public Protector revealed that Zuma had unduly benefited from the improvements. The Constitutional Court found that Zuma and the National Assembly had failed to uphold the Constitution.

Zuma apologised for using public funds to fund his private residence and in April 2016 he was asked to resign by prominent public figures including anti-apartheid activists due to the scandal.


The controversy is at times referred to as the Nkandlagate. The compound is situated on land owned by Ingonyama Trust, the legal entity that owns traditional land and is administered by the Zulu King on behalf of the government.

The South African government, Public Works Department built a helipad and underground bunkers, a fire pool, chicken run and fencing around the entire complex.

According to the ministerial handbook, the department can spend R100 000 on security improvements at the private houses of public officials. Any cost above that must be covered by the official.