The Constitutional Court of South Africa has ruled that President Jacob Zuma violated the Constitution by refusing to repay the government public funds he spent on his private home.
Chief Justice Mogoeng said that Mr. Zuma “failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.”
The court gave the treasury sixty days to determine the appropriate amount to be repaid.
A public prosecutor had ruled in 2014 that Mr. Zuma had to repay a portion of the roughly $16 million he spent on his home, but the president refused, arguing that the upgrades to his home were for security purposes.
The $16 million upgrades included an amphitheater, a swimming pool, a visitor center, a cattle enclosure, a chicken coop, a helipad, and three houses for his staff.
The Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the public prosecutor’s 2014 order was binding.
Mr. Zuma denied any wrongdoing and said that he would meet with African National Congress (ANC) officials to “reflect on the judgment and its implications on the state.”
The case was brought to court by the two opposition parties, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA).
The EFF is calling on Mr. Zuma to step down, while the DA is planning to move for an impeachment motion in parliament.
However, the ANC holds a majority of seats in parliament and will likely stifle any impeachment motions, according to political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi.
The president has been criticized for corruption since taking office in 2009. In December 2015, thousands of South Africans took to the streets of Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg to demand his resignation.