Zuma’s woes grow ahead of Mangaung

2012-11-19 00:00

JUST weeks ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung, President Jacob Zuma’s woes are piling up, with reports that he may have lied to the nation about a bond for his Nkandla residence.

The City Press reported yesterday that no bond was registered against the Zuma family’s Nkandla property.

The Ingonyama Trust, which owns the land the homestead stands on, was quoted saying it was unaware of a bond. It said it had to get involved whenever a bond was registered against a property in its possession by providing documentation to conveyancers and banks.

Zuma told Parliament last Thursday that when he became president, he and his family decided to expand the home and called in contractors.

“I took the decision to extend my home … and I built more rondavels. I engaged the bank and I am still paying the bond,” he said.

Asked to clear up the confusion, Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj would only say “No comment at this stage” yesterday. The ANC’s spokespersons could not be reached.

The City Press report has provided opposition parties with potential ammunition to call for Zuma’s impeachment, if it turns out that he lied to Parliament.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said if there was no bond for the Nkandla residence as claimed by Zuma, serious consequences should follow without delay.

“Parliament must establish whether the president came to Parliament on Thursday and knowingly gave the impression that he was paying for the bond in Nkandla himself.

“If it is the case, the DA and opposition will consider bringing a motion to impeach the president,” she said.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa agreed, saying: “If it is true that there is no bond, he would have shot himself in the foot. I don’t know how he would get out of that.”

Holomisa questioned how Zuma would have got a bond for his house in the first instance, saying banks are reluctant to approve bonds where there is no land tenure guarantee.

The latest development comes as opposition parties demand a debate on a vote of no-confidence in Zuma.

According to Mazibuko, should Parliament Speaker Max Sisulu not accede to their request today, papers would be filed in court.

“If he comes to say he is unable to do so tomorrow [today], I will be in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday [tomorrow] to file affidavits calling on the Speaker to do everything possible to schedule that debate before the end of the parliamentary session,” Mazibuko said.

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