The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, returned to state coffers 7.8 million rand (about 480,000 euros) that unduly spent on refurbishment of his private residence, serving a sentence of the Constitutional Court.
The announcement of the payment was made today by the South African Treasury, the institution responsible for calculating and receive the amount that the President should return.
Zuma had to apply for a loan in order to pay all the reforms of his Nkandla home, in the east, which were not only aimed at improvements in security, said the spokesman for the South African presidency, Bongani Majola.
The Constitutional Court South African ordered Zuma to return the importance unduly spent after declaring binding the recommendations of the Ombudsman, Thuli Madonsela, which considered that the head of state should reimburse the State of part of the 246 million rand (over 15 million euros) that cost the works not to ensure their protection.
The President justified the million dollar remodeling of his Nkandla home citing security reasons, but Madonsela revealed that among the infrastructure built, there was a henhouse, a stable for cows, an amphitheater, and a swimming pool.
After Zuma had refused several times to return the money, the opposition took the case to the Constitutional Court, which last March ruled that the President must comply by Madonsela and accused him of shirking its obligations with the connivance of parliament.
The “case Nkandla” – as it is popularly known in South Africa – became a symbol of the scandals surrounding Zuma, 74, came to power in 2009 and ending in 2019 his second and, by operation of law last term.
The power abuses he is accused and the negative development of an economy on the brink of stagnation led his party, the African National Congress (ANC), to obtain, in the local elections of March 03, the worst results in its history.
The ANC suffered then a loss of 60% of the vote across the country, a feat hitherto unprecedented in the 22 years of democracy in South Africa.
Led by Zuma, the ANC lost for the first time the chambers of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Port Elizabeth, where the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) now governs with the support of minority parties.
The former liberation movement will elect in December 2017 its new leader and likely successor Zuma as ANC candidate for the presidency of the country.
Several ANC leaders publicly demanded the resignation of Zuma, both from the post of party leader as the head of state.