/ 27 July 2016

Constitutional Court confirms Zuma must pay back R7.8 million for Nkandla

M&G’s political editor Matuma Letsoalo breaks down the difficult choices the ANC will face on JZ over the next two weeks.
'The Sars commission has deviated from its originally intended purpose,' says Jacob Zuma in his papers. (Delwyn Verasamy/ M&G)

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday accepted National Treasury’s calculation that President Jacob Zuma must repay the state R7.8 million for improvements to his private home at Nkandla that were made at taxpayers’ expense.

In a letter to Webber Wentzel attorneys, the registrar of the court wrote: “This court signifies with effect from the date of this letter, its approval of the amount of R7 814 155 as at June 2009 set out in the last paragraph of the report by National Treasury submitted to this court on 27 June 2016.”

At the end of March, the Constitutional Court found, in ruling on applications by the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance, that Zuma had failed to uphold the Constitution by flouting a directive from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that he pay back public money spent on luxuries, including a swimming pool, added to his rural home.

The court gave National Treasury 60 days to determine the amount owed by the president, and gave Zuma 45 days thereafter to pay it — which gives him a deadline of September 29.

The ruling was a resounding victory for the DA and the EFF, the latter which had turned “pay back the money” into a battle cry deployed against Zuma whenever he appeared in Parliament.

On Tuesday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said it was vital that the R7.8 million come from Zuma’s pocket, not from political allies or wealthy friends like the Gupta family.

“In doing so President Zuma and no one else must ‘personally pay back’ this money and not rely on the Guptas or members of the notorious ‘Premier League’ to do so on his behalf as they have offered to do using taxpayer rands in recent times.” – African News Agency