Paying back the money never crossed my mind, says Zuma

2015-03-11 21:09

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President Jacob Zuma has revealed that he has not even thought of paying back some of the money that was spent on non-security measures at his private residence in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

Zuma finally answered the “pay back the money” question which the EFF and other political parties have been threatening him with for over six months since August 21 last year.

On that day, the National Assembly’s question and answer session was aborted as Zuma was shouted down by Economic Freedom Fighters MPs, who chanted “pay back the money” when he failed to answer Julius Malema’s question about the payment of the money spent in Nkandla.

EFF MP Natasha Louw asked Zuma earlier this afternoon whether he had thought about a date whereby he would repay the money.

“Never have I ever thought of a date when I would pay back the money. Firstly, there is no money that I am going to pay back without a determination by those who are authorised to do so as recommended by the Public Protector,” responded Zuma.

“When you asked this question, you were in fact moving ahead of the parliamentary process which was dealing with that issue and I said so on that day.

“The Public Protector has not said ‘pay back the money’; she said because there was what in her view were undue benefits to the family and myself, she thinks this money must be paid back but it should be determined by the Minister of Police. That determination has not been done. Why do you say I should pay back the money, you don’t even know how much or whether the final answer would be that I should pay back the money,” said Zuma.

Zuma added while answering a follow-up question from Malema that neither the Public Protector nor the special investigating unit had found him to have stolen money in the Nkandla matter.

“The Public Protector made recommendations and recommendations are recommendations and not verdicts. They are subject to be taken or not taken. It is only a judge’s verdict that says you either go to prison or pay the money,” he said.

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