AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Nkandla payback update: Zuma Foundation to ‘consult legal team’ on order to cough up R6.5m
In a summary judgment – which means the former president chose not to participate – the High Court in Pietermaritzburg gave VBS Mutual Bank the green light to demand R6.5-million, plus interest and the cost of the application, to settle debts for the non-security upgrades at Nkandla.
The JG Zuma Foundation reacted to the order saying it “will study the judgment and consult the legal team”.
To: All Media
The Court outcome on the VBS Liquidator v H.E President Zuma, matter is noted.
The Foundation and H.E President Zuma will study the judgement and consult the legal team and if necessary will issue a statement.
— JGZuma Foundation (Official) (@JGZ_Foundation) August 30, 2022
Usually summary judgments are appealable. Zuma cannot appeal this because he consented to the summary judgement. Payment is immediate and, therefore, the curator can attach when they are ready. Judgment cannot be appealed.
If Zuma wishes to take this further, his legal team will have to apply for a rescission of the judgment, which is rarely granted.
VBS curator Anoosh Rooplal’s spokesperson, Louise Brugman, made the draft court order available. Daily Maverick has since received the signed and stamped version.
Zuma is, according to the draft order, liable to pay R6.5-million in debt to VBS Mutual Bank, as well as interest at a rate of 10.25% per year, calculated from 31 August 2019.
He is also ordered to pay the costs of the application on an attorney and client scale.
Rooplal said his “next steps are to understand what movable assets can be attached in order to repay his debt. Since the Nkandla homestead was built on community land, we are unable to attach any immovable property in order to repay his debt.”
The draft court order shows that Rooplal abandoned arguments in favour of the land on which Nkandla stands to be executable.
Nkandla is built on Farm Nxamalala, which is owned by the Ingonyama Trust and cannot be seized.
Rooplal said: “As the liquidator, our role requires us to pursue and collect all outstanding monies owed to VBS. These include all clients who have been defaulting on paying back their loans and mortgages due to VBS. These recoveries are for the benefit of the creditors of the bank. Where repeated attempts to secure payments from clients result in no monies being received, we have no choice but to pursue the legal route in order to recover the money owed to the bank.” DM