Johannesburg — President Jacob Zuma has proposed that the Constitutional Court appoint the auditor general and minister of finance to determine how much he should pay for certain upgrades to his Nkandla home.
“The president proposes that designated appointees… be appointed within 30 days of date of order to determine the reasonable portion of the reasonable cost of those features of the Nkandla upgrade project not reasonably related to security . . .,” his lawyers said in a letter sent to the registrar of the Constitutional Court on Tuesday.
The non-security upgrades Zuma was prepared to pay for were the visitors’ centre, the amphitheatre, the cattle kraal, chicken run and the swimming pool.
“Once the exercise has been completed and a figure determined, the president has repeatedly indicated both before this court and before Parliament that… he is willing to be bound by the outcome of a fair and objective process.
“He reiterated his willingness to repay any figure so determined,” his legal team said in the letter.
It also attached a draft order for the court.
The Economic Freedom Fighters approached the Constitutional Court to compel Zuma to implement Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations regarding the upgrades.
In her report, titled Secure in Comfort, Madonsela recommended that Zuma pay back a reasonable portion of the R246m spent on upgrades to his Nkandla homestead not related to security — such as the swimming pool, cattle kraal and amphitheatre.
The matter is expected to be heard in the Constitutional Court next Tuesday. The Democratic Alliance and the Public Protector had joined the court action.
In the letter to the court, Zuma’s lawyers said the president, given the challenge to the report prepared by the police minister regarding the security upgrades, recognised that it would no longer be appropriate for the SA Police Service to be involved in any security exercise. It was also not be appropriate for Zuma himself to make a determination.
The lawyers said the president was hoping the proposal would “assist in ensuring the expeditious finalisation” of the matter. Madonsela said she consulting with her legal team about Zuma’s proposal to pay back some of the Nkandla money.