Opposition parties to the African National Congress ANC have raised eyebrows against treasury’s R7.8m estimates mated out for President Zuma to pay for his Nkandla upgrades.
They said Zuma’s R7.8m is way too small compared to R246m total cost of the upgrades.
The National Treasury has in line with the ConCourt order of March 31 released a report showing that President Zuma has to return to the nations’s account the total sum of R7.8 Million as cost for homestead upgrade which include R2.3m for the so-called firepool, R1m for the amphitheatre, and R1.2m for the cattle kraal.
The treasury’s release was in accordance to the order by the constitutional court that it should determine the reasonable costs of the non-security items listed in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report and the reasonable percentage of this to be paid by Zuma.
However, political parties who compared the R7.8m put forward by the treasury with the R246m total cost of the upgrade expected much more for Zuma.
The United Democratic Movement said the amount the Treasury had determined that Zuma should pay back was an insult.
“We completely reject that and call on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan not to buy face from Zuma. Not at the cost of the country,”
While the Congress of the People called it “daylight robbery”, the Economic Freedom Fighters spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said R7.8m was just 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 National Treasury reported that it came to this amount with the help of three experts each for the panel which helped determine the amount.
The two quantity surveying companies each visited the Nkandla homestead on separate days, May 10 and 11. Members of the security cluster, Presidency, and Treasury officials accompanied the quantity surveyors on their visit.
But analysts who critically looked the results say the quantity surveyors who helped the Treasury determine Zuma’s R7.8m a were unable to make a precise cost analysis because there was no bill of quantities to work from and the drawings supplied were incomplete and in some cases didn’t match what was actually built.
While the leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane welcomed the fact that Zuma was now legally obligated to repay some of the money spent on the upgrades, he said 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, adding that millions of rands of public money were wasted at Nkandla, and Zuma’s R7.8m was just over 3% of the total spent.
“Zuma and his cronies still owe the South African people hundreds of millions of rand.” Maimane said as he vowed that his party would “not relent in ensuring that all of those who were complicit in the Nkandla corruption are brought to book so that we can retrieve every cent unduly spent”.
Once the court finally approves the report by the treasury, President Jacob Zuma will have 45 days to pay. However, the Presidency said it was studying the report and would comment later.