National 12.9.2016 10:19 pm

Zuma pays back the money, but EFF still suspicious

Acting EFF spokesperson Fana Mokoena. Picture: Gallo Images

Acting EFF spokesperson Fana Mokoena. Picture: Gallo Images

The party says it maintains that the president has admitted to criminal liability and wants to ensure his bank loan is not benefiting him improperly.

The Economic Freedom Fighters on Monday welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s repayment of R7.8 million to the state for luxuries added to his private home at Nkandla, and added that it would further look into the circumstances of the loan from VBS Mutual Bank.

“The EFF will also seek further clarity on the main source and principle that led to a mutual bank (VBS Mutual Bank), which is supposed to benefit ordinary people in Vhembe, granting a loan to Mr Zuma,” the party said in a statement.

“We will do so to prevent a possible situation where monies are illegally moved in protection of one individual, whom the Constitutional Court said should be individually and personally liable for the nonsecurity upgrades.”

National Treasury separately confirmed that Zuma had transferred the sum it calculated as a reasonable portion of the roughly R216 million spent upgrading security at his home in one of the longest-running scandals of his presidency. The presidency said the R7.8 million was a second bond loan was granted by the Limpopo-based Venda Bank Society Mutual Bank.

READ MORE: Here are five facts on #VBSMutualBank that paid Zuma’s #Nkandla debt

The final calculation was made public in June and confirmed as an order of the Constitutional Court, which had earlier found that Zuma failed to uphold the Constitution by flouting Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s directive that be refund the state because he had unduly benefited from nonsecurity items included in the project.

These famously included a swimming pool, cattle kraal, chicken run, amphitheatre and visitors’ centre, which the police ministry and parliament sought to cast as legitimate public expenditure by claiming that each item doubled up as a vital security measure.

The EFF said it would further inquire at relevant authorities on the recovery of monies from suppliers who were overpaid during the Nkandla home upgrades. The party would further seek legal advice on whether Zuma was not criminally liable for undue benefits.

“Now that the money has been paid, the EFF will seek legal advice to establish whether Mr Zuma should be held criminally liable for being a recipient of criminal proceeds, since he has accepted that he unduly benefited,” the party said.

“The EFF will do this because, in the immediate aftermath of the public protector report on Nkandla, we opened a criminal case against Mr Zuma at Sunnyside Police Station and we still hold the view that there was a certain degree of criminality in his actions.”

– African News Agency (ANA)

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