Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - A ruling by the Constitutional Court recognized that South African President Jacob Zuma violated the Constitution by using public funds to renovate his private residence in Nkandla. The story concerns the expenses incurred officially to strengthen the security measures of the President’s country mansion, but in reality it appeared that public money was used to build new facilities in the residential complex, including a swimming pool and an amphitheater (see Fides 3/6/2015).
In a speech broadcast on television Zuma rejected the request of resignation advanced by the opposition and denied that he had "acted dishonestly" claiming that he was not aware of the irregularities. However, he admitted that "he could have handled many things differently" and promised that the State will reimburse part of the expenses incurred (15 million dollars).
In a statement sent to Agenzia Fides and published on the website of the "Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC), the Jesuit Institute South Africa states that "the decision of the Constitutional Court in South Africa shows that nobody is above the law – our democracy has institutions that function effectively. This is something that all South Africans can celebrate. The Jesuit Institute urges that the Court’s orders be taken seriously by all affected. We further hope that this represents a step in the direction of greater accountability and integrity in the Country". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/04/2016)