South Africa Jacob Zuma heckled
South Africa\'s President Jacob Zuma said he accepts the ConCourt\'s judgment \'unreservedly\' Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

South African president Jacob Zuma has agreed to pay back the public funds used to renovate his mansion in Nkandla but insists he "did not act dishonestly". There had been suggestions Zuma would be announcing his resignation following confirmation he would be addressing the nation.

Zuma said he respects the judgement from the court "unreservedly" and will repay the state money which was used for his "security upgrades" at his private residence.

He said: "I wish to emphasise that I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the constitution which is the supreme law of the country. There was no deliberate effort to subvert the constitution.

"The judgement has helped me and my colleagues to reflect deeply on the entire matter. With hindsight there are many matters that could have been handled differently and that should never have been allowed to drag on this long. The matter has caused a lot of frustration and confusion. I apologise on my behalf and that of government."

The ConCourt also ruled that Zuma and the National Assembly had violated the Constitution by ignoring the report form South Africa's state anti-corruption body, the Public Protector.

There have been growing calls for Zuma to step down in the wake of the report that ruled R246m (£11.5m, $15m) of taxpayer's money was used to improve his private home, including installing a swimming pool, cattle enclosure and an amphitheatre.

South African opposition parties threatened to impeach Zuma over the claims in what is described as "the lowest point in the ANC Government" since 1994.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), leader Julius Malema said: "As the EFF we call on the President to step down with immediate effect because the President has failed to uphold the constitution, it is his primary responsibility, that is his first duty, so there is no special treatment for the President here."

Following the ConCourt's judgement, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said: "The African National Congress has noted and respects the unanimous judgement delivered by the Constitutional Court today in the matter relating to compliance with remedial action set out in a report of the Public Protector.

The Constitutional Court is and remains the guardian of the Constitution of the Republic and the final arbiter on matters before it, hence the ANC welcomes the clarity provided by the Court on the binding nature of the powers of the Public Protector."

"The ANC once again reaffirms our full confidence in the judiciary and the upholding rule of law in South Africa. Given the serious nature of the judgement delivered, the African National Congress will study it in detail and comment further in due course."