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Zuma ordered to refund govt money spent on private home



Zuma ordered to refund govt money spent on private home
A constitutional court in South Africa has ordered President Jacob Zuma to refund part of the money spent on upgrading his private home- a sprawling rural home at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.
The court ordered Zuma to pay some of the $16 million of state money expended on the mansion in a stinging rebuke, which will surely further smear the image of the scandal-plagued leader.
According to the unanimous ruling of the 11-judge court, Zuma had failed to “uphold, defend and respect” the constitution by ignoring the Public Protector’s findings on his KwaZulu-Natal residence.
Continuing, the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng gave the Treasury 60 days in which to determine their “reasonable cost”, after which Zuma would have a further 45 days to pay.
.”The office of the Public Protector is one of the true crusaders and champions of anti-corruption and clean governance,” Mogoeng said. “Hers are indeed very wide powers that leave no lever of government power above scrutiny.”
Reacting to the court ruling, Zuma’s office said in a short statement that it respected the ruling and would determine the appropriate action in due course.

The uncompromising nature of his verdict – Mogoeng said it carried a “profound lesson” for South Africa’s young democracy – piles more pressure on Zuma, whose second term in office is due to end in 2019.

In a final, departing insult, he was ordered to pay costs.

Standing outside the court in downtown Johannesburg, opposition leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters Zuma should be removed from office and said he would table a parliamentary motion to have him impeached.

Zuma, a 73-year-old polygamous Zulu traditionalist, has been under intense fire since December when his abrupt sacking of finance minister Nhlanhla Nene sent the rand into a tail-spin.

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