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Reports: Wealthy businessmen wary of helping Zuma settle R7,8m Nkandla debt

The Sunday Times says many are unwilling to donate the money as Zuma's term is coming to an end.

President Jacob Zuma visited Thembelihle south of Johannesburg during the ruling party's campaign trail on 30 June 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As the deadline looms for President Jacob Zuma to pay back the money he owes on Nkandla, it's being reported that wealthy businessmen who previously publicly committed to helping him are now cautious.

The Sunday Times says many are unwilling to donate the R7.8 million to Zuma given that his term in office is coming to an end.

National Treasury told the Constitutional Court it had determined that Zuma is liable for just over R7.8 million for the non-security upgrades to his home.

African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe had previously stated that the party had no plans to collect money for its president.

Zuma has until 24 August to pay for the non-security upgrades at his KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

The Constitutional Court earlier ruled Zuma had to settle the bill personally and if he received donations, he would have to publically declare them and pay donation tax.

The paper is reporting the ANC and its youth league say they will respect the court order, allowing Zuma and his family to raise the money.

But the paper says it spoke to the president's brother, Michael Zuma, who says the family has no money.

The president's nephew Khulubuse Zuma apparently also told the publication that he won't be able to settle his uncle's bill but confirmed a family meeting would take place today.

DON'T EXPECT ANY FAVOURS

Last week, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said it doesn't believe people should give money to Zuma to help him pay off his Nkandla debt, in the expectation of receiving something in return.

KZN ANC's Mdumiseni Ntuli said, "To make a donation because you believe that we need to make a contribution to a particular cause, it's not necessary that there must be a return or an expectation of a return coming your own way."

Ntuli added, "We support each other in the movement when it's nice and when it's difficult. We can't say because this is a matter which is the result of a court decision that therefore supporting the president is something we're going to ashamed of."

Ntuli couldn't say if the provincial party would dispatch funds to help the president.

WHY R7.87 MILLION?

Treasury said it contracted two independent quantity surveying firms to conduct two separate investigations, and that it then moderated the results of those two probes.

In the end, the Finance Ministry said of the five facilities that were in question, a reasonable percentage of the estimated costs that the president would have to pay personally comes to nearly 88 percent of their total cost.

This corresponds to a final figure of R7,814,105 in 2009 prices.

National Treasury released the figure just a day short of the 28 June deadline set in the Constitutional Court ruling in March this year.

The court found that President Zuma failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land in handling the Nkandla debacle.

COSATU PRESIDENT READY TO MOVE ON

Meanwhile, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president S'dumo Dlamini said the issue of Nkandla has not only hurt the ANC but society at large.

Dlamini hopes Treasury's determination of the amount Zuma should pay back will be the beginning of healing.

"People have been calling for that payment to happen and it has now been decided. I hope it settles the matter."

He said the president must now pay back the money so that everyone can move on.