SA set to hear if Zuma must pay back the money

Cape Town - South Africa is likely to find out at 13:30 on Thursday how much - if anything - President Jacob Zuma must pay for upgrades to his Nkandla home.

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nlheko will convene a briefing at lunchtime following the last-minute postponement of his media conference at 19:00 on Wednesday.

Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, said on Thursday that Nhleko’s report was discussed at Wednesday’s Cabinet briefing.

He refused to divulge further information.

“The matter is before Parliament,” he said.

Report

Speaker Baleka Mbete, meanwhile, confirmed on Thursday that she had received Nhleko’s report.

The report would be tabled in terms of parliamentary rules and leaders of political parties would receive copies on Thursday, the Programming Committee heard.

A new ad hoc committee to process the report would be set up during a sitting of Parliament next Tuesday, presiding officer Thoko Didiza confirmed.

Nhleko was tasked by an ad hoc committee on Nkandla to determine Zuma’s liability for non-security upgrades at his home.

Nhleko has stated that he had completed his report by the March 30 deadline, but the process stalled, apparently to obtain clarity about certain procedures via the leader of Government Business, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Various discussions about the next step took place between Mbete and political parties, which led to UDM leader Bantu Holomisa raising objections and withdrawing from the parliamentary process. 

He accused Mbete of attempting to censor the report, which she has denied.

Public protector's recommendations

The matter has dragged on for over a year since Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that the president and his family had unduly benefitted from the R246m upgrades.

She recommended that he pay back a portion of money for the upgrades. The amount was to be determined with the assistance of National Treasury and the SA Police Service.

Earlier on Thursday, the presidency announced that Zuma will be leaving for Nigeria on Thursday to attend the inauguration of Nigerian president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, scheduled to take place in Abuja on Friday.

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