Zuma U-turn over home revamp money

Media captionThe BBC’s Karen Allen visits Nkandla

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has done a U-turn in justice over his refusal to repay some of a $23m (£15m) of state income used to ascent his home.

His counsel certified he was wrong to omit an anti-corruption watchdog’s news to compensate behind income spent on facilities such as a swimming pool.

The antithesis brought a case, anticipating it will open a approach for impeachment record opposite a president.

Thousands of people protested outward court, cheering “Zuma contingency fall”.

Police put adult a clever uncover of force, as a protesters, led by Julius Malema’s severe Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), marched to a justice in a categorical city, Johannesburg.

Latest updates from justice and protests

How Zuma’s home has grown

Image caption

EFF personality Julius Malema (R) led protesters outward a court

The criticism was opposite “corruption and cronyism” in government, a EFF said.

The categorical antithesis Democratic Alliance (DA) also organized a possess demonstration.

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) denounced a marches as a “political exercise”.

‘Unlawful enrichment’

The antithesis parties wish a Constitutional Court to sequence that Mr Zuma flouted a structure by ignoring a 2014 news by a anti-corruption watchdog, famous as a Public Protector, that he should repay a money, as he had “unduly benefited” from a upgrade.

At a time, a military apportion shielded a output as required confidence upgrades, observant a swimming pool was, in fact, a glow pool that could be used in a eventuality a glow pennyless out during a chateau in Mr Zuma’s home encampment of Nkandla.

An amphitheatre, cattle enclosing and duck run were also built.

Mr Zuma’s counsel Jeremy Gauntlett conceded in justice that a news was “binding” on a president, and he was prepared to repay a income within 90 days.

However, he denied that Mr Zuma had disregarded a constitution.


Analysis: Milton Nkosi, BBC News, Johannesburg

The acknowledgment by Mr Zuma’s counsel was shocking: The boss was legally firm to accept a commentary of a Public Protector’s report, entitled Secure in Comfort.

This was a large U-turn, as Mr Zuma had until now argued that a news contained small recommendations, lacking a standing of a justice order.

Looking during Mr Malema, we could usually interpretation that he was rubbing his hands with joviality as a play unfolded in court.

The EFF now smells blood – it hopes South Africa’s top justice will go as distant as to sequence that a boss breached a structure and therefore disregarded his promise of office.

The antithesis would afterwards no doubt direct a president’s impeachment.

For now, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s position is many tenuous. He was during a forefront of a debate to balderdash a Public Protector’s report. It is formidable to see how he can sojourn in a post.


The hashtag #PayBackTheMoney, mirroring a aphorism used by EFF members to taunt a president, has been trending in South Africa:

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Twitter

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The tale has turn a vital domestic scandal, at one indicate sparking scuffles inside parliament.

EFF counsel Wim Trengrove told a justice a boss had defied a Public Protector to unlawfully “enrich himself”, South Africa’s private News24 website reports.

“His control during a time and response to a news was in defilement of a constitution,” Mr Trengrove is quoted as revelation a judges.

Image caption

EFF protesters outward a justice have been chanting “Pay behind a money”

The box comes during a formidable time for Mr Zuma, who has also been underneath glow over his doing of a financial ministry, after he sacked dual ministers in a week final year.

Many South Africans also credit his supervision of not doing adequate to tackle crime and poverty.

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