Thursday is D-Day for Zuma in #PayBackTheMoney case

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Judgment in the Nkandla case will be handed down by the highest court in the country on Thursday morning.

The finding should settle, for once and for all, the powers of the Public Protector.

Judgment would be delivered at 10am, the Constitutional Court said in a briefing alert.

This followed applications for direct access to the court by the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance – which were heard on February 9.

The two opposition parties argued that the failure of both president Jacob Zuma and Parliament to comply with remedial action set out in a report of the Public Protector two years ago constituted a breach of constitutional duties.

In her report, Secure in Comfort, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Zuma had “unduly benefited” and should pay back a “reasonable percentage of the cost” of the R246 million of public funds that was spent on upgrades to his Nkandla homestead. 

Costs that the Public Protector singled out as non-security features included a cattle kraal, chicken run, swimming pool, visitors centre and amphitheatre. 
She said that the cost should be determined with the assistance of the treasury.

Since then, the controversial Nkandla matter has dominated public discourse and led to three separate ad hoc committees being set up in Parliament. The minister of police also produced a report in May 2015 which exonerated the president from any liability.

When argument was heard in the Constitutional Court on February 9, Zuma’s advocate Jeremy Gauntlett conceded that the Public Protector’s findings were, in fact, binding. 

“It will be wrong if this court makes a ruling which may result in a call for impeachment. The DA and EFF may try to impeach. Some have argued that the president was defiant … but it was an error in law,” he told the court.

Zuma has subsequently gone on record to state that he had never said that he would not pay back some of the money. 

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