South Africa

High Court rules VBS Bank can seize Zuma’s assets

VBS Mutual Bank won a court case allowing the curators of the lender to seize former South African President Jacob Zuma’s assets for failing to repay a loan for upgrades at his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal Province, the Daily Maverick reported.

VBS can seize Zuma’s cattle, furniture and other realizable assets to repay the debt, the news website reported, citing an order by the High Court in Pietermaritzburg. Zuma was given a R7.8 million home loan by VBS in September 2016 but started defaulting on payments in August 2018, according to the report.

In 2014, South Africa’s graft ombudsman found that Zuma unfairly benefited from a state-funded 215.9 million-rand upgrade of the homestead.

The Constitutional Court ruled in 2016 that he broke his oath of office when he ignored a directive to pay back part of the money.

VBS Mutual Bank, which was based in Limpopo province, collapsed in 2018 and a probe into its failure found that at least 53 people and companies may have benefited from the looting of R1.9 billion. There have been many arrests since the lender collapsed.

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