President Zuma’s family have allegedly claimed to not be financially buoyant enough to help him pay for the upgrades at Nkandla
As President Zuma rallies round for the R7.8 million ordered by the court for him to pay back as part of what he spent on his Nkandla homestead, his family members claim they are too poor to meet to his urgent need.
Claiming that the Zumas are not wealthy people, President Zuma’s younger brother Michael said during the weekend that Zuma would find it difficult to pay back the money.
“If they want him to pay, I do not know where he is going to get the money. He has not spoken to us about this matter and we have only learnt about it in the news,” said Michael. He said the Zuma family lived the life of any rural family,” he said.
Similarly, President Zuma’s eldest son reportedly told the Sunday Times that the family can’t afford to pay the R7.8 million as instructed by Treasury.
The court ruled that Zuma alone was liable to pay back the money spent on the upgrades, but Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said the entire Zuma family benefited from the upgrades hence they should partake in the payment.
President Zuma might have hard time footing the bill penned on him by the treasury as both his party members and relatives claim not buoyant enough to help.
Khulubuse Zuma’s lawyer Vuyo Mkhize also revealed that his client has no money to lend to Zuma as the moment. He said if Zuma needed money from his client to pay his Nkandla debt 10 years ago, there would be no question about helping him.
Mkhize, says the Zuma family now has to decide whether they would intervene in paying the Nkandla debt. He also said that the family can’t involve themselves in Zuma’s political career.
“By assisting as a family would they not be crossing the line? A line the family has always sought to draw between his affairs and their affairs.”
It is not clear yet whether the family have already met to start discussions on this issue.
DON’T EXPECT ANY FAVOURS
Zuma has until the end of August to come up with the money, but the ruling ANC party still drags its feet on deciding whether or not the party will help pay the money.
ANC in KwaZulu-Natal is calling on party members to mobilise and help the President repay some of the money.
However, Former Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) head Zwelinzima Vavi said such call for members to help Zuma shows that Zuma has become the party and the ANC has become Zuma.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe also stated that the ANC has no plans to collect money for its beleaguered president:
“The Concourt is quite clear, the ANC cannot pay whatever amount. A structure of the ANC cannot do that too. It must be in contempt of court.”
Zuma’s first family, particularly the president’s wives, fear that Zuma would go to jail now that more than 783 counts on charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering against him have effectively been reinstated.
This is after the High Court in Pretoria refused to grant the National Prosecuting Authority leave to appeal against the ‘spy tapes’ judgment.