Jacob Zuma South Africa Luxury Mansion
Jacob Zuma, leader of South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC), sings for his supporters at the Pietermaritzburg high court outside Durban Reuters

South African President Jacob Zuma has been criticised for accepting a £14m state-funded makeover of his private home with new features such as a swimming pool, cattle enclosure and amphitheatre, according to public prosecutors.

South Africa's top anti-corruption watchdog has released a report which details Zuma's unnecessary renovations - only six weeks before crucial elections.

"The President tacitly accepted the implementation of all measures at his residence and has unduly benefitted from the enormous capital investment in the non-security installations at his private residence," Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said in the report.

Madonsela said the President "benefitted unduly" from the renovations in behaviour "inconsistent with his office" and suggested that he repay the majority of the costs to the taxpayer.

"A substantial amount of public money would have been saved had the president raised his concerns in time," the report continued.

The report is likely to damage Zuma's chances, as well as those of his African National Congress (ANC) party at the upcoming general election in May.

Several allegations of corruption have been levelled at Zuma in the past but the ANC party has always supported its leader.

In what was originally a project intended as a "security upgrade", the costs of the luxury renovations totalled eight times that of securing Nelson Mandela's residence during his tenure as South African President.