South African President Jacob Zuma is to reimburse the state a total of $500,000 for the refurbishment of his Nkandla home which was done with taxpayers’ money, the South African Treasury determined the cost on Monday.
Breaking… Zuma should pay back $500,000 used to upgrade private residence: S. African treasury.— AFP Africa (AFPAfrica) June 27, 2016
“The sum that the President should personally pay corresponds to 7,814,555 rand ($500,000), the equivalent of a part of the work done on his property with public money,” the National Treasury quoted in a document delivered to the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court will now approve the amount and when the nod is given, President Jacob Zuma has 45 days to pay back the entire amount.
The landmark Constitutional Court judgment on the Nkandla refurbishment case on March 31 reaffirmed the powers of the public protector and also gave the National treasury until Tuesday to present the exact cost of refurbishment.
The judgement ruled that the head of state had violated the constitution by refusing to pay the renovation costs of his private property, specifically those that do not relate to security.
“The National Treasury must determine the reasonable costs of those measures implemented by the Department of Public Works at the President’s Nkandla homestead that do not relate to security‚ namely the visitors’ centre‚ the amphitheatre‚ the cattle kraal‚ the chicken run and the swimming pool only,” Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said during the ruling.
In 2009, soon after Zuma became president, upgrades began at his personal home in Nkandla, a small town in the eastern South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.
A 2014 investigation by the public protector Thuli Madonsela found the work done at the Nkandla residence went beyond beefing up the security infrastructure, as claimed later by some officials in the Zuma administration.
He was recommended to pay back some of the costs which he refused until the matter reached the Constitutional Court for ruling.