South African President Jacob Zuma has paid back $542,000 of public money spent refurbishing his private home, his office said Monday, in a controversy that has dominated his second term in office.
The country’s highest court found earlier this year that Zuma had violated the constitution by defying an order to repay some of the funds used to renovate Nkandla, his traditional homestead.
It ordered him to pay back funds spent on non-security upgrades — including a chicken coop, swimming pool and amphitheatre — valued by the treasury at 7,814,155 million rand ($542,000).
“President Zuma has paid over the amount to the South African Reserve Bank as ordered by the Constitutional Court of South Africa,” the presidency said in a statement.
It added that the president raised the money through a home loan.
The treasury confirmed separately that the payment had been received.