ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe warned yesterday that anyone who helps to raise the money for President Jacob Zuma to pay for the Nkandla upgrades will be destroying the president and will have to answer to the court.
Mantashe pointed out that the Constitutional Court was clear that Zuma had to pay the money spent on his Nkandla homestead alone.
“All I am saying is that the ConCourt is quite clear, the ANC cannot pay whatever amount.
“A structure of the ANC cannot do that because if it’s traced and found to be that it will be in contempt of court,” he told reporters after the national list conference of the party and the meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC).
When he was asked specifically about the ANC officials who volunteered to help the president settle his debts, Mantashe repeated saying: “Those people who are saying that are actually destroying the president out of love.”
It must be noted that since last month, the premier of Mpumalanga David Mabuza has taken it as a task to spearhead a campaign to raise funds to help Zuma pay for the Nkandla upgrades. Ehlanzeni, a region in his province even set up a trust account to help with the payment.
Also, North West and Free State, led by Zuma allies Supra Mahumapelo and Ace Magashule respectively, have also indicated interest to help support the president in paying for the Nkandla upgrades.
Mantashe also has a warning for individuals who made a move to raise funds for Zuma:
“The ANC cannot stand between the president and whatever relations he has with individuals. But all we are saying is that even at that level, if that individual boasts and says ‘I have raised so much for the president’ they actually will be on the wrong side of the law.”
ANC Mpumalanga secretary Mandla Ndlovu said that then, they offered to pay for Zuma and the offer still stands should there be a request from the president. “Up until now there has not been any request,” he said.
On the other hand, ANC Free State spokesman Thabo Meeko said: “If it is the understanding of the SG, the province will re-look into the issue and comply because the national leadership guides us.”
The secretary of ANC North West Dakota Legoete, who also offered financial support to Zuma, could not be reached for comment.
Zuma’s morale was heightened after the governing party’s NEC rejected calls from several indiduals and bodies to recall him and endorsed an earlier decision to accept his apology.
Following the Constitutional Court’s decision to discipline Zuma for violating the constitution in his handling of the Nkandla upgrades issue and that he should personally pay back a reasonable amount, the ANC decision-making body (NEC) decided that his apology should be accepted.