South Africa’s constitutional court has began proceedings into a case filed by two opposition parties against the president Jacob Zuma.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) parties presented a case before the court demanding that Zuma be held accountable for using state funds for personal use.
According to an anti-graft report, Zuma used 23 million US dollars in 2013 to refurbish his rural home.
The president will now pay back some of the money, but the principles at stake are: the public protector may make binding orders, the president and the national assembly acted in breach of the constitution by defying those orders.
During his opening statement, EFF’s legal representative Wim Trengove said, “The public protector held that the president and his family improperly benefited from certain of those measures (security features at Nkandla), the certain of the nine, then she lists five of the nine measures from which she said the president improperly benefited and they are there listed. So, her report does not leave that matter open for debate.”
Last week, Zuma said he will pay part of the money used to upgrade his rural home in KwaZulu-Natal province. Nevertheless, both opposition parties have rejected this proposal.
EFF Official Account (@EconFreedomZA) February 9, 2016
Initially, Zuma denied any wrong doing leading to a scandal that has plagued his government.
“Apart from the resolution of this issue which my learned friend will tell you is easy, the president will now pay back some of the money, but the principles at stake are: the public protector may make binding orders, the president and the national assembly acted in breach of the constitution by defying those orders, those are the principles with which we submit at the heart of this case,” Trengove told the court.
Zuma said he would payback an amount determined by auditor general Thembekile Kimi Makwetu and finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
The DA, Corruption Watch, a non-governmental organisation, and the president are yet to present their opening statements.