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Is Zuma lying about where he got the money?

By Danielle van Wyk

In the latest twist to the #PayBackTheMoney saga, Netwerk24 reported on Sunday that contrary to popular belief that President Zuma used a VBS Mutual Bank loan to pay back the money spent on non-security upgrades to Nkandla, there is no record of this in the deed’s office.

“VBS Mutual Bank claims to have lent Zuma the money, but no such bond has been registered in the deed’s office in Zuma's name. Legislation demands that a home loan must be registered at the deed’s office,” reported Fin24.

Furthermore it was highlighted that VBS’s requirements for granting a home loan state that it can only be granted where there is a title or allocation deed in place. Based on this VBS are able to grant home loans in the form of former homelands, like Nkandla, where land is seen as communal.

FNB reportedly at a later stage stated that it would have been legally impossible for Zuma to obtain a home loan, as he does not hold the title deed for Nkandla. This while, Presidency stated: “The President raised the amount through a home loan obtained from VBS Mutual Bank on its standard terms.”

“Court documents later showed that it was actually his friend Vivian Reddy who "organised" an FNB loan rather than a loan in Zuma's name,” reported Fin24.

Opposition parties like the Democratic Alliance (DA) have similarly cottoned on to the uncertainty.

“I have sent a formal request to President Jacob Zuma, calling on him to make public sufficient proof of his alleged home loan obtained from VBS Mutual Bank to pay back the R7.8 million for non-security upgrades to his private residence in Nkandla.

“While both Zuma and VBS Mutual Bank claim a home loan agreement does exist between the two parties, there is no evidence of such a bond registered in the deed’s registry, raising the question as to whether a home loan indeed does exist. Without evidence confirming that a loan in the name of Jacob Zuma in fact does exist, we cannot be satisfied that the finding made by the Constitutional Court – which states that “the President must personally pay the amount determined by the National Treasury…” – has been fully complied with,” stated Mmusi Maimane, DA leader.

While Zuma’s right to privacy is recognised, the merits of this particular case are unprecedented. “This involves a President satisfying a Constitutional Court judgment ordering him to personally pay back millions of Rands of public funds he effectively stole. 

“Therefore, it is in the public interest to ascertain (a) whether a loan in fact exists; and if so, (b) what the conditions of the loan are; (c) whether Jacob Zuma has personally signed surety on the loan, and not any of his cronies; and (d) what effect, if any, does this have on the Court’s finding that the President must personally pay back the R7.8 million determined by National Treasury,” added Maimane.

The fact that the president has a list of instances where he has previously been bailed out by friends and allies in business, continues to count against him.

“A 2006 KPMG report found that Zuma has previously benefited from benefactors to the value of at least another R3 million.

“These benefactors include politically connected businessperson Jürgen Kögl; Zuma’s friend, Nelspruit businessperson Nora Fakude-Nkuna; Durban mogul Vivian Reddy; Zuma’s nephew Khulubuse Zuma, who provided cash that was used to partially repay Reddy; Zuma attorney Julie Mahomed; and French defence company Thomson-CSF,” said Maimane, who stressed that the DA and the South African public could not risk this happening again. This, especially at the hands of a Constitutional Court order.

The Presidency has refrained to comment at this stage.

   Handy tip: Do you need a home loan? Apply for one on Justmoney and receive the necessary assistance.

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