President Jacob Zuma has said in a televised address to the nation that he was always willing to pay back money used for non-security related upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
He also welcomed the Constitutional Court’s Thursday judgment that he had to pay back some of the money spent on the upgrades, in line with the remedial action by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her report.
“I respected the judgment and will abide by it,” Zuma said.
“I have consistently stated that I would pay an amount towards the Nkandla non security upgrades once this had been determined by the correct authority.
“It was never my intention not to comply with the remedial action taken against me by the public protector or to derespect [sic] her office.”
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said on Thursday that “the National Treasury must determine the reasonable costs of those measures implemented by the Department of Public Works at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead that do not relate to security‚ namely the visitors’ centre‚ the amphitheatre‚ the cattle kraal‚ the chicken run and the swimming pool only”.
The Constitutional Court also found that Zuma and the National Assembly acted against the Constitution by disregarding Madonsela’s report.
“I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the Constitution” — Zuma
President Jacob Zuma told the nation on Friday that he did not deliberately violate the Constitution in relation to the public protector’s report into spending on his Nkandla home.
“I also respect the finding that failure to comply with the remedial action taken against me by the public protector is inconsistant with the Constitution of the Republic,” he said in his address to the nation live on SABC.
“I wish to emphasise that I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the Constitution which is the supreme law of the Republic.”On Thursday the Constitutional Court ruled that the president should adhere to the remedial actions of the public protector and pay back taxpayers’ funds which were used for non-security upgrades worth millions at his Nkandla home.
It found that Zuma’s failure to comply with Thuli Madonsela’s report was inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.
Madonsela found in her report Secure in Comfort, released in March 2014, that Zuma had unduly benefited from some of the upgrades. She recommended that he repay a reasonable portion of the R246m spent on the upgrades and that the ministers involved in the project be reprimanded.
The court further ruled that the National Assembly had violated the Constitution by ignoring the public protector’s report.
Since the ruling, opposition parties have called for Zuma to step down.