President Jacob Zuma is unlikely to pay more than 1 million of the 246-million rands taxpayers’ money he used in upgrading his Nkandla home.
Two months ago, South Africa’s constitutional court had ruled that president Zuma must refund the state funds used in upgrading parts of the Nkandla home which were not for security purposes as initially stated. The court also asked the Treasury to draw up the total cost of the luxury upgrades which included a visitors center, an amphitheatre, a cattle kraal, a chicken run and a swimming pool which was described as a “fire-fighting facility”.
These 5 upgrades which were in no way security-related were summed up at R10 million.
The Sunday times reported that Zuma has been legally advised not to pay the total amount. In other words, he’s being advised to pay less than what the Department of Public Works paid for the upgrade of his Nkandla home.
This is due to the court ruling that the Treasury should determine a “reasonable percentage of the costs” Zuma has to pay for misappropriating taxpayers’ money.
“The philosophy of the order is that he should pay to the extent for which he has been enriched. He shouldn’t pay for the wasteful expenditure incurred by the state, because it is not his fault,” Advocate Wim Trengove, who argued against Zuma on behalf of the EFF said.
“It would not be the costs paid for the swimming pool. It would be the reasonable cost of that particular swimming pool. It is the reasonable costs, not actual costs, because in this case we know the actual costs were much higher,
“It would then be a percentage of that cost. I am not sure why a percentage, but the public protector said [that].”
The Treasury was given 60 days to determine how much the South African president who survived an impeachment bid has to pay. Whatever the Treasury decides, they have until 31st May to deliver.