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Ruling ANC youth join calls to help Zuma refund $500,000

Ruling ANC youth join calls to help Zuma refund $500,000

South Africa

The initial call to help embattled President Jacob Zuma repay an amount of over $500,000 back to the state treasury started from the powerful wing of the Africa National Congress (ANC) in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province.

The party’s wing in Zuma’s home province have been backed by the ANC Youth League, who are calling for fundraising efforts to help the president foot the bill.

ANC’s provincial spokesman in KZN Mdumiseni Ntuli told local media portal, the Sowetan, that they would be ready to “listen” to and “help” Zuma should he approach them.

I don't think the court has said how the president should pay. How the president gets money is a matter that is immaterial. Nobody should feel ashamed to assist. The support of the president should not be criminalised.

“If the president approaches us, we will listen to the proposal, apply our minds and make a determination that will be in the best interest of the ANC,” he said.

“I don’t think the court has said how the president should pay. How the president gets money is a matter that is immaterial. Nobody should feel ashamed to assist. The support of the president should not be criminalised,” he added.

The president has been ordered by the Constitutional Court to repay monies in respect of upgrades made to his private Nkandla residence, specifically upgrades that were not security related.

The National Treasury sent a report to the Constitutional Court on Monday in which it stated that Zuma was only personally liable to repay R7.8-million for the non-security features installed as part of the project, which escalated from R27-million to R246-million.

National ANC rejects fundraising proposal

Meanwhile, the ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe has cautioned structures of the party against the move to raise funds for Zuma as this would be in contempt of court, adding that Zuma was personally liable in the case.

Mantashe further warned that a public pledge to support Zuma in respect of repaying the money, was in violation of the court ruling. The ANC has always given Zuma their backing despite court rulings that have gone against the president and call even from within the party asking him to resign.

Opposition DA condemns fundraising moves

The youth wing of the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) have condemned the decision to raise funds to support Zuma pay the refund ordered by the courts.

The DA described the action as shameful and one that needed to be treated with the contempt it deserved.

‘‘President Zuma, and nobody else, must pay back the Nkandla money. To this end, the DA rejects the notion that any person can pay back any portion of the R7.8 million public funds used for upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private residence at Nkandla, other than President Zuma himself,’‘ a DA statement read.

Adding that, ‘‘The DA will fight to ensure that the youth no longer suffer due to ANC corruption, we will ensure that our youth are a priority in government spending and should be protected from being used as political pawns as the ANCYL has disgracefully attempted.’‘

The Sowetan further reports that the presidency has warned the public against being swindled by scammers to deposit monies into accounts in respect of raising funds to help pay back the $500,000