South Africa court reserves ruling on Zuma’s renovation

Zuma's private home in NkandlaZuma's private home in Nkandla

Constitutional Court to consider whether the president should return funds used on $23m private renovation.

“White supremacists are happy that this country is falling apart in the hands of black people,” said Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters party.

“We are not going to allow Zuma to make us another failure, another failed African state.”

In a news report, the South Africa’s public protector, Thuli Madonsela, had described the security upgrades made to Zuma’s private home in Nkandla as “unethical and unnecessary”.

South Africa’s Constitutional Court has reserved its decision on whether President Jacob Zuma should pay back state money he used to upgrade his private residence.

The court said on Tuesday that it will announce the decision at later date once it has been made.

In a damning report, South Africa’s anti-corruption watchdog accused Zuma in 2014 of having “benefited unduly” from the “excessive” $23m upgrades to his Nkandla home, which included a swimming pool, a cattle enclosure and an amphitheatre.

Zuma, who says that the renovations were essential to improve security, offered last week to repay a portion of the money, but said he wanted the auditor-general and finance minister to determine the amount.

However, opposition parties say Zuma’s offer is not good enough, adding that Tuesday’s court appearance is about fighting corruption.

(Siyimbali online reporter: February 10,2016)

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