New twist in Nkandla money scandal: Is Zuma home loan a sham?

President Jacob Zuma is at the centre of another controversy, as an investigation reveals he has not registered a home loan to repay debt to cover refurbishments to Nkandla, his personal estate. The ANC leader has been mired in a series of financial scandals – since before he became president in 2007. Wriggling out of corruption and other charges, Zuma has been fingered in allegations of wide-spread state capture. South Africa’s public protector is finalising an investigation into business deals linked to state entities and President Zuma’s family and associates. After revelations that taxpayers had footed the bill for more than R200m-worth of extensions and upgrades to his homestead Nkandla, the constitutional court found that Zuma was required to repay about R7,8m for “non-security” upgrades. A little-known bank, VBS Mutual Bank, subsequently alleged that it had awarded the president a loan to cover the debt. But Media24 journalists have found no trace of a home loan in President Jacob Zuma’s name – a discovery likely to raise more questions about the president’s financial dealings. South Africans will want to know the details of how the president is paying back the money and why VBS Mutual Bank – part-owned by the state’s Public Investment Corporation – claimed it was providing the finance. – Jackie Cameron

From Fin24

Cape Town – There is no trace of a home loan in the name of President Jacob Zuma in order to repay his Nkandla debt of R7.8m, Netwerk24 reported on Sunday.

VBS Mutual Bank claims to have lent Zuma the money, but no such bond has been registered in the deeds office in Zuma’s name. Legislation demands that a home loan must be registered at the deeds office.

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
File photo: A general view of the Nkandla home (behind the huts) of South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

VBS’ standard requirements for a home loan as stipulated on its website states that it can be granted for a property where there is a title deed or a allocation deed. That is how VBS can grant home loans in the former homelands where land is in communal possession – like the land on which Nkandla is situated.

Andrew Bembridge, an expert on property law at ENS, confirmed that a home loan can only be granted if there is a bond against a deed – whether a title deed or an allocation deed – registered at the deeds office.

The Ingonyama Trust announced a plan to circumvent the problem and provide access to finance. Fikisiwe Madlopha, head of the trust said in an e-mail that questions about Zuma’s loan cannot be answered because it is a matter between Zuma and the board.

In the past Zuma said he has a home loan for Nkandla. FNB later said a bond for Zuma would have been impossible since he does not have a title deed for Nkandla. Court documents later showed that it was actually his friend Vivian Reddy who “organised” an FNB loan rather than a loan in Zuma’s name. – Fin24


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