Zuma on Nkandla judgment: “I’m sorry” – didn’t deliberately violate Constitution

By Genevieve Quintal, News24

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma told the nation on Friday that he did not deliberately violate the Constitution in relation to the public protector’s report into spending on his Nkandla home.

A general view of the Nkandla home (behind the huts) of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla in this August 2, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Rogan Ward
A general view of the Nkandla home (behind the huts) of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla in this August 2, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

“I also respect the finding that failure to comply with the remedial action taken against me by the public protector is inconsistant with the Constitution of the Republic,” he said in his address to the nation live on SABC.

“I wish to emphasise that I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the Constitution which is the supreme law of the Republic.” On Thursday the Constitutional Court ruled that the president should adhere to the remedial actions of the public protector and pay back taxpayers’ funds which were used for non-security upgrades worth millions at his Nkandla home.

It found that Zuma’s failure to comply with Thuli Madonsela’s report was inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.

Madonsela found in her report Secure in Comfort, released in March 2014, that Zuma had unduly benefited from some of the upgrades. She recommended that he repay a reasonable portion of the R246m spent on the upgrades and that the ministers involved in the project be reprimanded.

The court further ruled that the National Assembly had violated the Constitution by ignoring the public protector’s report.

Since the ruling, opposition parties have called for Zuma to step down. – News24

Source: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/i-never-knowingly-deliberately-violated-the-constitution-zuma-20160401

South Africa’s Zuma denies dishonesty over Nkandla saga

JOHANNESBURG, April 1 (Reuters) – South African President Jacob Zuma said on Friday he only ever acted in good faith in his handling of a 2014 watchdog report into $16 million of state-funded improvements to his private home and would pay back a portion of the money.

In an address to the nation the day after a scathing constitutional court ruling, Zuma apologised for the “frustration and confusion” created by the scandal over his Nkandla residence.