President Jacob Zuma has proposed a court settlement in the Nkandla case that would see him reimburse the state for money spent on upgrading his private rural home after years of political wrangling on the subject.
His office let known, late on Tuesday that he has proposed in court papers that the amount he should repay be determined by the Auditor-General and the minister of finance.
“To achieve an end to the drawn-out dispute in a manner that meets the Public Protector’s recommendations and is beyond political reproach, the president proposes that the determination of the amount he is to pay should be independently and impartially determined,” the presidency said.
“Given the objection by one of the parties to the involvement of SAPS, as the Public Protector herself had required, the Auditor-General and minister of finance be requested by the court, through appropriate designees, to conduct the exercise directed by the Public Protector.”
The presidency said Zuma’s offer constituted a “simple course” to comply with the remedial action directed by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her report “Secure in Comfort”, but noted that he remained critical of aspects of the document.
Madonsela found that Zuma had derived undue benefit from the security upgrade that spiralled to a cost of more than R200 million and eventually included a swimming pool, cattle kraal and amphitheatre added to Zuma’s home at taxpayer’s cost.