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Court to rule on $15.6m upgrade of Zuma's private ranch

Court to rule on $15.6m upgrade of Zuma's private ranch

South Africa

South Africa’s Constitutional Court will on Thursday rule on whether president Jacob Zuma should pay back some of the 240 million rand ($15.6 million) spent by the state to renovate his private home.

Reuters reports that two opposition parties filed a legal suit against president Zuma to get him to comply with a 2014 finding by the Public Protector, an anti-corruption watchdog, that he was liable for non-security improvements to his sprawling rural residence that included a cattle enclosure, swimming pool and amphitheatre.

Following months of political pressure, Zuma in February agreed to pay part of the bill for the renovation works at his Nkandla property in the Kwazulu-Natal province.

If the court determines that president Zuma violated the constitution, the opposition could likely push for his impeachment in parliament.

However, the ruling Africa National Congress’ (ANC) majority would almost certainly protect him.

According to Mailonline, the house renovation scandal is one of the many controversial issues affecting Zuma’s administration.

He had in December last year fired a respected finance minister, Nhlanhla Nene and replaced him with an unknown backbencher.

Since then, allegations have surfaced suggesting that the Guptas, a wealthy family of Indian-born businessmen with close ties to Zuma, may have been involved in the decision.

Reuters

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