Zuma on Nkandla: “I’ll pay back the money”. Seriously. Hope Springs.

Sometimes the seemingly impossible happens. Innumerable theories get offered on reasons, but without clarity from the intimates, such discussion is just speculation. Sometimes what lies behind such miracles doesn’t matter so much as the fact they have happened. This is one of those moments. South Africa’s previously imperious President Jacob Zuma last night capitulated on his nation’s biggest single gripe with him. From the Public Protector through to the local street vendor, the uniform demand from all South Africans – barring a tiny coterie of Zuma acolytes – is that he repay taxpayer’s money spent on his private Nkandla homestead. After fiercely rejecting the notion and nodding at lies about the courageous Public Protector Thuli Madonsela (like being branded a CIA agent), Zuma has now issued a statement to say he will repay the money. For the moment, how he derived funds to meet this commitment isn’t the issue. Zuma the supposedly all-powerful has been shown to have feet of clay. For now, that’s enough. It’s a big start in the right direction. The full statement from the Presidency is republished at the bottom of the news article. It’s genuine. Hope Springs. – Alec Hogg

By Wim Pretorius, News24

President Jacob Zuma has proposed an end to the drawn-out legal controversy regarding the public protector’s March 2014 report on Nkandla: ‘Secure in Comfort’, the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

“While President Zuma remains critical of a number of factual aspects and legal conclusions in the report, he proposes a simple course to implement what the public protector recommended as remedial action contained in the report.”

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“To achieve an end to the drawn-out dispute in a manner that meets the public protector’s recommendations and is beyond political reproach, the president proposes that the determination of the amount he is to pay should be independently and impartially determined.

“Given the objection by one of the parties to the involvement of SAPS, as the public protector herself had required, the auditor general and minister of finance be requested by the court, through appropriate designees, to conduct the exercise directed by the public protector.”

Read also: Nkandla: Madonsela remains optimistic Zuma will “pay back the money”

The Presidency said that the proposal is made in the letter directed this morning [Tuesday] by the president’s attorneys to the Registrar of the Constitutional Court. The court is due to hear the matter on February 9 2016.

The statement said, with regards to the upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla home that how those irregularities happened continue to be investigated in separate inquiries relating to officials and professional consultants on the project.

“The report specifically found no wrongdoing of any kind by the president. It also found no  benefit for which the president could to any degree be required to compensate the state in relation to nearly all aspects of the project.

“But in relation to five features of the private homestead the report directed a further process to be carried out by National Treasury in conjunction with SAPS. This is to determine firstly a reasonable proportion of the item in question for which the President should recompense the State, and secondly the reasonable cost in that regard.

“The actual amount that the President is required to pay was not determined by the Public Protector who limited herself to setting out this process for the amount to be determined.”

Zuma also opposed what the DA and EFF are seeking with regards to their application directly to the Constitutional Court for orders declaring that the steps taken by Zuma to give effect to the public protector’s remedial action are unconstitutional.

Read also: Nkandla-blind ANC MPs bully Public Protector Madonsela in Parliament

They added that Zuma “also supports the need for finality in the matter of the Public Protector’s report”.

“However, he believes and contends in his affidavits filed in court that the DA and the EFF have misinterpreted and/or are manipulating the Public Protector’s report for the purposes of political expediency.”

The concluded by saying that “none of the EFF, the DA and the public protector have responded to the President’s proposal, which was made in his answering affidavit in November last year”.

“It will now be for the court to decide if the offer is an appropriate basis for an order when the applications are argued on February 9 2016.” – News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/zuma-proposes-solution-to-nkandla-case-20160202

Comments on Zuma pay back money

From The Presidency:

President Jacob Zuma has proposed an end to the drawn-out legal controversy regarding the Public Protector’s March 2014 report on Nkandla, ‘Secure in Comfort’. While President Zuma remains critical of a number of factual aspects and legal conclusions in the report, he proposes a simple course to implement what the Public Protector recommended as remedial action contained in the report.

The proposal is made in the letter directed this morning by the President’s attorneys to the Registrar of the Constitutional Court. The letter, and draft order proposed, are attached. The Court is due to hear the matter on 9 February 2016.

The report identified irregularities that occurred in the course of upgrades by the Department of Public Works, in liaison with other departments, to the traditional family home the President has had at Nkandla for many years.  How those irregularities happened continue to be investigated in separate inquiries relating to officials and professional consultants on the project.

The report specifically found no wrongdoing of any kind by the President. It also found no benefit for which the President could to any degree be required to compensate the state in relation to nearly all aspects of the project. But in relation to five features of the private homestead the report directed a further process to be carried out by National Treasury in conjunction with SAPS). This is to determine firstly a reasonable proportion of the item in question for which the President should recompense the State, and secondly the reasonable cost in that regard. The actual amount that the President is required to pay was not determined by the Public Protector who limited herself to setting out this process for the amount to be determined.

The Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance have applied directly to the Constitutional Court for orders declaring that the steps taken by the President to give effect to the Public Protector’s remedial action are unconstitutional. The Public Protector is joined as an interested party to the applications. The President has opposed what the DA and EFF have joined in seeking.

President Zuma has maintained his willingness to contribute to any increase in value to his property, objectively determined, as required by the Public Protector. He notes that the Public Protector accepts that only five aspects of the project give rise to a need for any determination – and that this determination still requires the proportion of the item and the reasonable cost to be established. The President also supports the need for finality in the matter of the Public Protector’s report. However, he believes and contends in his affidavits filed in court that the DA and the EFF have misinterpreted and/or are manipulating the Public Protector’s report for the purposes of political expediency.

Read also: Zuma should pay back Nkandla money: ANC vets

To achieve an end to the drawn-out dispute in a manner that meets the Public Protector’s recommendations and is beyond political reproach, the President proposes that the determination of the amount he is to pay should be independently and impartially determined. Given the objection by one of the parties to the involvement of SAPS, as the Public Protector herself had required, the Auditor-General and Minister of Finance be requested  by the court,  through appropriate designees,  to conduct the exercise directed by the Public Protector.

None of the EFF, the DA  and the Public Protector have responded to the President’s proposal, which was made in his answering affidavit in November last year. It will now be for the court to decide if the offer is an appropriate basis for an order when the applications are argued on 9 February 2016.

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