President Jacob Zuma may only pay back a fraction of the R246 million spent on his Nkandla home, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
Citing legal opinion given to the president, and comments from other lawyers involved in the case, the paper said that Zuma will not be made to pay more than R1 million for Nkandla.
It follows a ruling by the Constitutional Court in March that the Treasury should determine “a reasonable percentage of the costs” Zuma must pay for upgrades to his homestead including the construction of a visitors centre, an amphitheatre, a cattle kraal, a chicken run, and swimming pool.
The Sunday Times reported that the state spent close to R10 million on the five facilities, which public protector Thuli Madonsela deemed to be non-security-related as the upgrades were intended.
The paper said that Zuma would not be required to pay what the Department of Public Works paid for the five facilities.
“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,” said Advocate Wim Trengove, who argued behalf of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Citing an insider, the Sunday Times said that Zuma is expected to pay a portion of R140,000 for the swimming pool, which cost the Department of Public Works R3.9 million.
“It would then be a percentage of that cost. I am not sure why a percentage, but the public protector said [that],” Trengove said.
The Sunday Times said R3.92 million was spent on the visitors centre, while R1.2 million was spent on the cattle kraal and chicken run.
It said that while it was unclear how much the amphitheatre cost, the DA calculated a sum of R530,930.
Treasury has until 31 May to determine how much the president should pay.
Source: Business Tech