The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the announcement by the National Treasury that President Jacob has paid back R7.8 million to the people of South Africa for his liability for the taxpayer-funded upgrades at his private Nkandla residence, but we maintain that this is only the tip of the iceberg in this corruption-plagued saga.
This payment is in line with the report of the Public Protector and the subsequent judgement of a full bench of the Constitutional Court, which stated that “The President must personally pay the amount determined by the National Treasury…”
In this regard, it is important that the President provides proof to the National Assembly, which he is accountable to, that he personally paid the R7.8 million, and that the VBS Mutual Bank is not a front. The President has a history of tapping into his circle of cronies for funds.
In fact, according to the draft KPMG report (State v Jacob G Zuma and Others), available on the Mail & Guardian website, Jacob Zuma has a history of relying on others to pay off his debt.
Quoting from the report directly:
“…the Nkobi Group, Shaik and other entities, related to the Nkobi group, settling debts and other personal expenses for and on behalf of Zuma in excess of R4 million during the period October 1995 to June 2006.”
Moreover, that Durban businessman, Vivien Reddy, assisted Jacob Zuma “in obtaining the bond and continued to service the bond payments, as Zuma did not have the funds to do so.”
This is certainly not the final chapter in the Nkandla saga.
We have previously articulated that President Zuma is liable for R63.9 million in fringe benefits tax, and that he must release his release tax records in order to ascertain whether this tax has been paid or not.
In addition to this, Mr Minenhle Makhanya, the chief Nkandla architect, must pay back the more than R155 million used to inflate the cost of the ‘security upgrades’ at Nkandla – which the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) 2014 report found him to be responsible for.
We are also awaiting an update on the disciplinary hearing of at least twelves officials from the Department of Public Works, who were implicated in the Nkandla upgrades.
Accountability is a long and intricate process, which must be fully complied with. We will therefore continue to push this matter until full accountability on the part of President Zuma is achieved.