Unlikely that a bond is registered against Nkandla - property expert

2016-05-20 12:58
(Photo: City Press)

(Photo: City Press)

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'I have a bond I am paying' — Zuma answers Nkandla question in Parliament

2016-05-17 16:27

Posing questions to the president, DA leader Mmusi Maimane asked President Jacob Zuma about his Nkandla homestead. Watch.WATCH

Durban – It is unlikely that a bond is registered against President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, as its rightful owner is the Ingonyama Trust, property expert Louis Kruger, of Schindlers Attorneys, has said.

However, Kruger said it was possible that the bond Zuma was referring to was registered on another property that he owns.

The controversial multimillion-rand homestead took centre stage on Tuesday when members of the opposition demanded to know whether Zuma had lied to Parliament about the upgrades done at his home.

Zuma maintained he was telling the truth when he told Parliament that he was paying a bond.

Loan

According to a 2012 Mail & Guardian article, Zuma does have a loan. The report stated that he first applied for the loan on his Nkandla residence in 2001, when it was worth between R650 000 and R750 000.

Despite being financially strained, Zuma was reportedly granted a home loan from First National Bank. 

It was reported that original indictments against Zuma’s former financial advisor Schabir Shaik had revealed the existence of a loan.

The loan was granted, according to the National Prosecuting Authority, because of a R400 000 surety signed by Durban businessman, and Zuma’s close confidant, Vivian Reddy.

Reddy reportedly guaranteed just under half the loan amount, and also serviced the bond from his private account with monthly payments of R12 117.11.

In 2012, Zuma reportedly told Parliament that his family had built the home.

He reiterated the point on Tuesday, saying he was paying a bond for the first phase of the house and that the second part was paid for by his family. 

Zuma said he never built the five items that the Constitutional Court had talked about, namely the swimming pool, cattle kraal, amphitheatre, visitor’s centre and chicken run.

The court recently ruled that Zuma had flouted the Constitution when he ignored Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations.

DA MP James Selfe on Tuesday asked Zuma how he had raised the bond without owning the land, since he lives on tribal land.

"It's called in our area: PTO. Permission to Occupy," Zuma said.

'Never formally transferred'

Kruger explained that tribal land is owned by the Ingonyama Trust, which owns about 32% of land in KwaZulu-Natal. He said the Permission to Occupy certificate did not mean that the individual who held such permission was the registered owner of the land.

"The land is never formally transferred to the individual and generally remains registered in the name of the Ingonyama Trust. A bond can be registered against a property by the registered owner, therefore it is unlikely that a bond was registered against land that is owned by the Trust."

Kruger said Zuma, in his statements, had never specifically stated that the bond he was paying was registered on the Nkandla property, although it was implied.

"It is possible that the said bond could be registered against another property owned by Zuma and the funds from that could have been used to pay for building and extending his home before he was the president. This is of course entirely based on speculation."

Ingonyama Trust Board chairperson Judge Jerome Ngwenya, however, said one did not need a title deed to get a bond.

"In the past, black people under apartheid were not allowed to have a freehold title deed, so they were issued with a PTO. This was issued by the state."

He said the PTO was bonded by Ithala Bank.

"When the president applied for a bond, he already had someone who stood guarantee for him. The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs issued the PTO.

"There is a portion of the homestead which is under a PTO and one that is under a lease. His main homestead, which he built ten years ago, is under PTO and he is paying a bond for it, and the area by the police quarters is under lease, issued by the Ingonyama Trust and Department of Public Works," Ngwenya said.

Traditional court

Chairperson of the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders Phathisizwe Chiliza said people could also obtain a PTO certificate from the traditional court.

Chiliza said the local Inkosi would send his Induna to inspect the land in question if there was an application.

"He will tell the chief whether the land in question is habitable and if there are any disputes. If there are no disputes over the land, then the chief will grant the PTO, which is a lease document or a Certificate of Occupancy."

Chiliza said the process, which involved the traditional council and the Trust, was legal.

"If you want to expand the land, then you follow the same process," said Chiliza.

KwaNxamalala chief, Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma, who presides over the village where the homestead is located, said land was passed down through the generations in rural areas.

"The land which the homestead was built on was handed to the family by the chief."

Speaking about the KwaNxamalala clan’s lineage, Zuma said the family originated from Greytown.

"The whites moved us to Nkandla, then Howick, and we ended up settling in Mpendle. Our great-grandfather Matomela, the King of amaNxamalala, had sons Lugaju and Msholozi.

“Msholozi, who was a polygamist, took maMzobe, the president’s mother, and had the president.”

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  durban  |  nkandla upgrade  |  land

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