Former President Jacob Zuma has filed a notice of intent to fight a summons filed by VBS Mutual Bank for him to pay back R7.3m he owes for his Nkandla home, or risk losing the property, Business Day reported on Friday.
He has not been paying back the R7.3-million loan he received from VBS Mutual Bank.
Last month, the bank’s liquidator issued a summons demanding the full payment of the loan, but Zuma filed a notice of intention to defend the summons.
He missed the deadline to file his plea.
According to the summons filed in the KwaZulu-Natal high court in Pietermaritzburg, Zuma has been defaulting on the loan since August last year and now he may lose his home.
VBS Mutual Bank collapsed last year after R2-billion was allegedly looted by its directors.
VBS granted a loan to Zuma in 2016 after he was ordered to pay back some of the money spent on upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
Zuma fell behind on the repayments for the first time in August 2018, when he was in arrears of R109,568. A letter of demand was sent to Zuma. “Subsequent to the delivery of the demand letter, the first defendant [Zuma] effected sporadic repayments, all of which were less than the agreed monthly installments.”
The court papers then detailed attempts between May 6 and June 18, 2019, to make additional payments. However, “the first defendant has failed to effect payment of the full arrears”.
The court papers, filed by VBS Mutual Bank’s liquidator, Anoosh Rooplal, show that Zuma has until September 14 to file a notice to state whether or not he will defend the summons. Should he defend it, he would have 20 days after that to file responding papers.
According to the court papers, as at August 31 2019, Zuma is R558,691 in arrears on his VBS loan, and owes a total of R7,345,849.
Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela told TimesLIVE that he had made contact with the former president’s legal team over the court papers.
“I’ve called the attorneys and I’m waiting for them to come back to me. They will know what’s going on,” he said, promising that he would make a statement once he had a response from the lawyers.
Upgrades at the Nkandla homestead included a swimming pool, cattle kraal and amphitheatre, costing South African taxpayers R250m.
In a report released in March 2014, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Zuma unduly benefited from the upgrades, which were supposed to be for security. The report found that the upgrades were not related to security.
She recommended that the former president pay back a portion of the money used for the renovations to the homestead.
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