Jacob Zuma's Account Temporarily Blocked By S'African Court

The operations of a South African bank were affected on Wednesday following a court-mandated suspension on outgoing payments from accounts belonging to former president Jacob Zuma.

This directive is linked to a legal conflict regarding loans obtained for the enhancement of his personal property during his time in office.

According to the First National Bank, this action stems from legal proceedings initiated by the liquidators of a separate bank, which is seeking repayment from the 81-year-old politician.

“FNB was instructed by the High Court to place a hold on outgoing payments from former President Zuma’s FNB accounts. The accounts are not closed as incoming payments are unaffected,” FNB told AFP.

“This instruction from the court results from the process currently being managed by the VBS Bank liquidators, and FNB was legally required to comply. Former President Zuma’s recourse now lies with the courts and VBS liquidators.”

This move is expected to exacerbate the tarnishing of the reputation of Zuma, who faces allegations of corruption, just ahead of the upcoming general elections scheduled for May 29.

Read also: South Africa: ANC Suspends Zuma For Launching New Party

With a tenure spanning from 2009 to 2018, Zuma has emerged as the face of a nascent start-up party, poised to challenge his former political bastion, the African National Congress, for vital votes.

The partial account freeze is related to the decade-old, controversial renovation of Zuma’s massive homestead in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The bank was later placed under curatorship, and its liquidators have gone to court to force Zuma to pay back the outstanding part of the loan.

In a landmark ruling of 2016, the highest court in the land concluded that the former head of state had violated constitutional principles by appropriating millions from state coffers to renovate his rural Nkandla residence under the guise of security enhancements.

Among the amenities were a poultry enclosure and a swimming pool, dubbed a “fire pool” under the pretense of a firefighting installation, along with a cattle pen and an amphitheater.

Instructed to refund the amount, Zuma secured a 7.8 million rand ($413,000) loan from VBS.

Africa Today News, New York 

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