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Zuma’s R7.8m Nkandla bill an insult – opposition

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The Democratic Alliance called on Zuma to repay the money immediately and out of his own pocket.

The United Democratic Movement said the amount the Treasury had determined that Zuma should pay back was an insult, while the Congress of the People called it “daylight robbery”.

Economic Freedom Fighters spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said R7.8m was not enough.

“But most importantly, Zuma paying is an admission of guilt. The next step is criminal charges for benefiting, knowingly, from corruption.”

Ndlozi said the party was, however, celebrating the restoration of the Public Protector’s reputation and power.

The parties were referring to the National Treasury’s determination of the amount Zuma had to pay for non-security related upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead. The upgrades cost R246m in total.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane welcomed the fact that Zuma was now legally obligated to repay some of the money spent on the upgrades.

In its judgment on March 31, the Constitutional Court ordered Treasury to determine the “reasonable amount” Zuma should repay. It gave Treasury 60 days to come up with the amount. Once the court had approved this, Zuma would have 45 days to pay.

“However, paying back the money does not mean the original corruption is forgotten. This is not the end of the road for Jacob Zuma and his corrupt cronies; it has only just begun,” Maimane said.

Maimane said millions of rands of public money were wasted at Nkandla, and the R7.8m was just over 3% of the total spent.

“Zuma and his cronies still owe the South African people hundreds of millions of rands.”

The DA leader said there could be no doubt that Zuma was aware of the upgrades to his residence.

Insult to South Africa

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the amount was an insult to the intelligence of the people of the country.

He questioned the criteria used to determine the amount and said there should have been a forensic audit.

“We completely reject that and call on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan not to buy face from Zuma. Not at the cost of the country,” he told News24.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said it would be an insult to taxpayers if Zuma were to repay only R7.8m.

The Public Protector, the SIU, police and Parliament spent millions more investigating the Nkandla saga. Millions more were wasted in hiring expensive lawyers, he said.

“Never in the history of South Africa has one man directly cost the country so much with no benefit whatsoever to the people of our country. If this figure stands, Mr Zuma will have gotten away with daylight robbery.”

Inkatha Freedom Party chief whip Narend Singh called for a full breakdown of how the Treasury had arrived at the amount. He said it seemed “somewhat trivial” when compared to the overall cost incurred.

By Thulani Gqirana

[Source: News24]

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