The saga about the upgrading of Jacob Zuma’s cultural village just won’t go away as he may have hoped.
The fraud and corruption trial of his former friend Schabir Shaik is revealing where some of the funds for his home “Nkandla” came from. It seems that some outside sources (French weapons manufactures) helped the President pay a bill of R1,3 million towards the costs of this village. There was also an amount of R140,000 paid from Bohlabela Wheels to the construction company working on the Nkandla site. (I will blog about Nora Fakude-Nkuna later)
Banks bending the rules.
Now the saddest part of the latest report has to do with the alleged financing of a housing loan from FNB.
Evidence revealed during the trail that President Zuma got a housing loan of R900,000 and that a businessman stood surety for nearly half of the loan, R400,000. From court records it seems that the businessman, Vivian Reddy, also made repayments during 2003 and 2004 to this home loan. (I will blog about Vivian Reddy later)
It would seem that a FNB home loan official made the cardinal sin of putting in writing “I’m convinced that the appropriate authorities will help us bend the rules slightly.”
Now it would seem that the rules really got bent by the bank! Firstly from all reports and rumours doing the rounds it would seem that the actual ground does not belong to Zuma. One story has it that the ground belongs to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. Another story has it that the ground belong to a tribal trust. A search of the Deeds Office has not revealed any deed over the property in the name of Jacob Zuma. So in who’s name did the bank register the bond? And why was it necessary to bend the rules according to the bank official?
If my memory serves me, I seem to recall that at one stage Jacob Zuma was living way above his means and Schabir Shaik was even paying his children’s school fees and debts. Now if this was the case, surely the bank would have been aware of the state of Zuma’s affairs? They do all these checks to see if you can afford to repay the loan. And heaven forbid that you are on ITC and paid an account late! Your loan will not be approved.
So it seems as long as you have the political connections you can get the banks to break the rules but what is the payback? You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours? And at the time of the alleged loan Mac Maharaj’s was a director of FirstRand, the holding company for FNB.
Personally I think the President should get his spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, to keep his comment to himself. His ducking and diving in this matter is just making matters worse!! Also check the following article for Mac’s involvement in various deals (especially the new toll roads).
Bank refutes giving Zuma a loan: