No settlement in Nkandla Concourt issue

President Zuma

President Zuma

JOHANNESBURG. — Parties involved in the Constitutional Court matter regarding President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home have not reached a settlement.

The court had given them until 4pm yesterday to respond to a settlement proposed by President Zuma.

The EFF and DA were due to argue in the Constitutional Court next Tuesday that President Zuma needed to comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations and repay a reasonable percentage of the R246m spent on renovations to his Nkandla homestead.

The EFF had proposed its own order which it wanted the Constitutional Court to hand down.

The party wanted the court to confirm that the public protector’s power to take remedial action included the power to issue directions binding on organs of state, according to a copy of the order.

It wanted directions given in her March 2014 report, “Secure in Comfort”, to remain binding on President President Zuma.

This included paying a reasonable percentage of the cost of non-security upgrades.

The EFF wanted the Constitutional Court to find that President Zuma failed to implement the directions in breach of his oath of office and his constitutional duties.

On Tuesday, President Zuma sent a letter to the court’s registrar to suggest that it order the auditor general and finance minister to determine how much he should repay for non-security features at Nkandla.

In its order, the EFF wanted the official appointed to determine the amount President Zuma had to repay, to make a determination within 60 days of the date of the order, and for President Zuma to pay within 30 days after this.

The EFF wanted President Zuma and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, the first respondent in the matter, to pay the party’s legal costs.

The DA said it would not accept President Zuma’s proposed settlement and wanted the matter heard in court.

The public protector’s lawyers said she wanted to present argument to the court on the nature and ambit of her powers and the legal effect of her remedial action.

Madonsela stood by the remedial action set out in her report. She however agreed that it was no longer appropriate for the police to help determine the reasonable costs of non-security features. — News24.

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