Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, has been ordered by a Constitutional Court of South Africa to pay back $500,000 which he had used for the upgrades made to his ancestral home in Nkandla.

The renovations, which were said to have been made to improve security included a swimming pool, which he claimed was a fire-fighting facility, a chicken coop, a cattle enclosure, an amphitheater and a visitors' center.

According to a South African anti-corruption watchdog, the total cost was $23 million. The 2014 report revealed that Mr. Zuma and his family had "unduly benefited" from the upgrades.

Thuli Madonsela, a government appointed public ombudswoman, had earlier described the upgrades as "unethical and unnecessary."

Mr. Zuma had been ordered to repay some of the money spent on the renovations.

In March, the Supreme Court of Appeal found that Mr. Zuma had breached the constitution by defying this order and he was urged by several veterans of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), to step down.

The Treasury said that Mr. Zuma should pay back $509,000 for the upgrades to his home. He has been given a 45-day ultimatum to follow through with this request.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), said the sum was too low, but the findings still constituted a "damning" indictment of the president.

DA spokesman Mr. Mabine Seabe told AFP Africa, "The president should pay back 100 per cent of the non-security upgrades - previously we determined that amount to be up to 52.9 million rands ($3.4 million)."

Speaking on the implications of the report, Mr. Seabe added, 'This (the treasury's report) sends out a clear message to those involved in corruption, especially those in the ANC, that you will be held accountable for your actions, even if you are the president.'

The calculations by the Treasury will be reviewed by the Constitutional Court.

Amidst scandals that included the sacking of two finance ministers in four days last year which led to the rand currency plummeting and a dismissed appeal from against the ruling that he should face almost 800 corruption charges that were dropped in 2009 shortly before he came to power, Zuma retains widespread loyalty in the ANC.

South Africa's revolutionary socialist party, the Economic Freedom Fighters has said, "Zuma paying is an admission of guilt. The next step is criminal charges."

Pres. Jacob Zuma

You may also like

Read Next