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#PayBackThe Money: ConCourt approves Zuma's Nkandla bill

The court had earlier asked the finance ministry to provide a report on how much it believed Zuma should pay.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has now formally accepted the National Treasury's estimate that President Jacob Zuma should pay back just over R7,8 million for the upgrades to his Nkandla home.

The court had earlier asked the finance ministry to provide a report on how much it believed Zuma should pay.

Earlier this year, judges said Zuma had failed to uphold his oath of office because he had refused to comply with the remedial action as specified by the Public Protector over Nkandla.

In a short letter written to the lawyers of all the parties concerned, the Constitutional Court says simply that it signifies, with effect from the date of today's letter, its approval of the amount of R7,814,150 - as at June 2009.

It then references the fact this is the amount set out in the last paragraph of the Treasury's report.

This means that this figure is the final amount Zuma must now repay for the upgrades to his home.

Zuma has 45 court days - or nine weeks - to pay back the money.

Last month, 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 came to nearly 88 percent of their total cost.

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.

Additional reporting by Gia Nicolaides

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