It was "unfortunate" to describe the DA's visit to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead as a publicity stunt, Helen Zille said on Monday morning.
According to an SABC news report, presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj accused her of seeking publicity by giving an ultimatum to Zuma to provide details of his upgrades at Nkandla by Wednesday.
"I think 'stunt' is a very unfortunate word to use," said Zille, in response to a question from SAfm.
"Because what it [the visit] did achieve is, now everyone is aware that hundreds of millions of rands of public money is being spent on a private home outside of the law and that the president... [is] refusing to answer questions," said Zille.
But Maharaj said the Democratic Alliance leader needed to follow proper channels if she wanted answers.
"She knows very well that if she wants to serve an ultimatum or communicate with the president in any way there are proper channels for her to do so. So when she chooses to go to the media, it seems to me... that she's just looking for publicity."
Zille led a DA delegation to Zuma's Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, but was stopped by several hundred African National Congress supporters.
Police refused permission for Zille to proceed along the road to the residence, citing safety reasons.
The crowd, which eventually numbered between 800 and 1000 supporters, blocked the road to the residence.
One man was arrested and was expected to appear in court in Nkandla on Monday after firing a shot in the air before Zille's arrival.