DA demands Zuma pay back 100% of non-security Nkandla costs as Concourt deadline looms

The Democratic Alliance has called on President Jacob Zuma to act in the interest of justice, fairness and accountability and pay back 100% of the costs for non-security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead.

Treasury has until Tuesday to report back to the Constitutional Court on the amount that the president must pay back. Zuma was found to have failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land after he failed to act on public protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action that he must pay back a portion of the money for the upgrades at his homestead. 

See our timeline on Nkandla here.

“We maintain that a ‘reasonable percentage’ of the reasonable costs can only be 100%. In determining the reasonable percentage thereof that Zuma must pay, the national treasury must send a clear message to all public representatives that corruption will not be tolerated,” the DA said in a statement.

The party accused Zuma of not only having failed to take action to prevent the waste of public funds during the upgrades to his private residence, but said that in some instances he encouraged it.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng confirmed that the public protector’s remedial action is binding and Zuma’s compliance is not optional. “No binding and constitutionally or statutory liaisons decision may be disregarded ‘willy-nilly’,” Mogoeng said at the time of ruling.

Treasury had to report back within 60 days of the Constitutional Court’s order, and Zuma will then have 45 days to settle the amount. The DA said that Zuma and his family had defrauded South Africans, and all those involved in the abuse of state resources at Nkandla must be brought to book.

The party also demanded that Minenhle Makhanya, the chief Nkandla architect of the homestead, pay back the more than R155-million used to inflate the cost of the “security upgrades” at Nkandla. The Special Investigating Unit found Makhanya to be responsible for these funds in a 2014 report.

Read more:
Six bizarre explanations for the Nkandla ‘fire pool’

Parliament had set up an ad hoc committee that saw opposition parties withdraw after a disagreement on whether Zuma should appear before the committee. The ad hoc committee’s final report said that Zuma is not liable to pay back any of the funds.

President Zuma also made submissions to Parliament and argued that he did not ask for the upgrades. Zuma has since apologised and offered to pay back a portion of the fees for upgrades at his homestead.

For more on Nkandla, click here.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Editorial: ANC, stop hurting our country

The ANC either does not understand the best interests of those it was elected to serve — or it knows and doesn’t care

Mokonyane: ‘There was nothing untoward about the ANC’s Bosasa ties’

The former minister likened the controversial firm to any other private sponsor of the governing party

Mokonyane ‘sets the record straight’ at Zondo commission

Speaking before the Zondo commission, the former minister refuted claims by Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi that she had dodgy ties to the firm

Saving southern Africa’s oldest languages

The decline of N|uu dates all the way back to 1652, when the first Europeans arrived by ship at the Cape of Good Hope.

A week of dodging bullets

Sani the barber and uBaba risk their lives, while Helen, Queen of the Karens, fires off another salvo

New delay in Zuma case as Thales challenges racketeering charges

The former president’s bid for an October trial date seems set to fail

Jailed journalist a symbol of a disillusioned Zimbabwe

Hopewell Chin’ono backed President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he succeeded Robert Mugabe. Now he’s in jail

Sisulu axes another water board

Umgeni Water’s board in KwaZulu-Natal was appointed irregularly by her predecessor, the water and sanitation minister claims

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday