S. Africa's Zuma pays back $0.5m used for home upgrade

Security upgrades on president's home were supposed to have cost $2.5 million but skyrocketed to some $23 million

S. Africa's Zuma pays back $0.5m used for home upgrade

World Bulletin / News Desk

South African President Jacob Zuma has paid back 7.8 million rand ($538,000) used for non-security upgrades made on his private home during renovations funded by the state, officials confirmed Monday.

Bongani Ngqulunga, spokesman for the Presidency, said in a statement that Zuma had paid the money to the South African Reserve Bank as ordered by the Constitutional Court.

“The President raised the amount through a home loan obtained from VBS Bank on its standard terms,” Bongani said.

National Treasury spokeswoman Yolisa Tyantsi also confirmed that the president had paid the money.

Four months ago, the National Treasury said Zuma would have to pay back 7.8 million rand for non-security upgrades on his home, after the Constitutional Court ordered the Treasury to determine the amount to be paid.

In a 2014 report, the country's anti-corruption watchdog, The Public Protector, had accused Zuma of misusing public money to upgrade his country home in Nkandla village, KwaZulu Natal province and ordered he pay back some of the money.

Zuma, however, failed to comply with the directive saying he had done nothing wrong and was adamant he would not pay back the money.

He, however, changed his mind after opposition parties dragged him to the Constitutional Court.

Security upgrades on Zuma’s home were supposed to have cost the state $2.5 million but other additions such as a cattle enclosure, amphitheater and swimming pool saw the cost skyrocket to some $23 million.

The upgrade of Zuma’s Nkandla homestead had become a huge political matter in South Africa, with opposition parties using the issue to boo him whenever he entered the parliament.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Eylül 2016, 20:14