Treasury assures deadline on Nkandla pay back determination is on track

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 20, 2016

National Treasury has said it remains on target to meet the Constitutional Court’s June 28th deadline to determine the exact amount President Jacob Zuma needs to pay back on the controversial R246-million spent on security upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead.

In passing the Court’s verdict in March, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the President was found to have violated the Constitution by not adhering to the remedial actions of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report, and that he must pay back a reasonable percentage of funds spend on non-security additions, which include the chicken run, cattle kraal, amphitheatre, culvert and swimming pool.

He stated that the final amount, determined by Treasury, had to be presented to the court within 60 days, and that the President himself had to make the final payment no less than 45 days after.

“Treasury’s work to give effect to the Constitutional Court order regarding the Presidential homestead in Nkandla is progressing well and the department will be able to meet the deadline,” it said in a statement.

“The assessment and final report will be submitted to the Constitutional Court in due course. A detailed account of the work that has been undertaken, including the methodology followed will be made public at an appropriate time”.

Addressing Parliament during Tuesday’s chaotic questions and answers sitting, Zuma, responding to a question from Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane, maintained he never lied about the upgrades, as it took effect while he was still serving as Deputy President.

“By the time I became President, the buildings were up; the first one at roof level, the second one at window level and the foundation of the third was rising. As soon as I became President, government came with a plan based on the old homestead before it was extended,” Zuma said.

“There are five issues the Public Protector said was built by government and which my family and I indirectly benefitted from. These were the kraal, chicken run, swimming pool, waiting room and amphitheatre. I have never said I built the five items that the Constitutional Court talks about. I am telling you and the people of South Africa, I never lied”.