Former president Jacob Zuma stands to lose his prized homestead in KwaZulu-Natal after falling behind on payments for the famous R7.8 million loan he took out in 2016 from the now liquidated VBS Mutual Bank.
The bank’s liquidator, Anoosh Rooplal, recently filed papers in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg demanding R7.3 million from Zuma after he fell behind with his repayments.
If he doesn’t come up with the money, they want an execution order that will allow them to recoup the money owing by possibly selling the property, which is built on land owned by King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Ingonyama Trust.
A court order had given the president 45 days to repay the money after then public protector Thuli Madonsela found that at least R216 million was spent by the state at Nkandla, and the cost of almost every item had been hugely inflated. A government team comprising several experts eventually settled on the R7.8 million the president was personally liable for, which opposition parties complained was less than 4% of the amount spent by taxpayers, and too little.
The then little-known VBS Mutual Bank was approached by the family to provide the loan. At the time, the Zuma family was claiming they were too poor to pay the R7.8 million for items including a swimming pool, amphitheatre, cattle kraal and chicken run.
The full cost of the loan was projected to run to R16 million.
Court papers that you can read in full below suggest that Zuma started falling behind on the repayments in August last year, and only paid sporadically after that.
His arrears are now worth well over half a million rand, claims the liquidator, and Rooplal has now called up the entire arrears amount of R7.3 million.
Zuma can still file notice of whether he will defend the summons, but only has until Saturday to do so.
It’s possible, however, that he will merely reach terms of repayment again and start paying instalments once again.
Take a look at the full court papers below:
(Edited by Charles Cilliers)