13 November 2017

South Africa: Many Gifts, but No Guptas or Payments Declared By Zuma

Photo: The Presidency
President Jacob Zuma and Atul Gupta at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium for the T20 match between South Africa and India (file photo).

A hibiscus tea set from Omar Al Bashir, Parker pens from Richard Mdluli, wine from Vladimir Putin and Nguni cattle from Mugabe, but no declaration by President Jacob Zuma of a R1 million a month salary by Roy Moodley, as alleged.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday viewed Zuma's declaration of interests at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

In the President's Keepers - a book by Jacques Pauw, the author details how a SARS official in 2010 discovered that Zuma had been receiving payments of R1m a month from Royal Security, a company owned by Durban businessman and ANC-supporter Roy Moodley.

Moodley allegedly bankrolled Zuma for at least four months after he became president in 2009.

According to Maimane, the only declaration made in respect to Moodley is when the businessman allowed Zuma to use a property on the Durban beachfront in 2016.

"I can today confirm that President Jacob Zuma did not declare any salary earned in the 2009-10 financial year in the register of his financial interests," Maimane told reporters.

Maimane added that there were no declarations made in relation to Zuma's former financial advisor Shabir Shaik, "which became part of the record when it came to the president's report in the court case against Shaik".

"The president also made no declarations of the loan that he would have got in the upgrades in the Nkandla matter."

Maimane was referring to the VBS Mutual Bank that granted Zuma a R7.8m loan to repay some of the security upgrades at his homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

More gifts

Furthermore, Maimane said there were no declarations made of directorships or shareholdings by Zuma or any of his wives.

There were also no declarations made in relation to the controversial Gupta family, however, Zuma did declare that he has received a number of Nguni cattle and art from Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Zuma also received a "silver watch" from Black Management Forum by Jimmy Manyi and a gold watch by the United Arab Emirates, both watches did not have their value declared - another bone of contention, said Maimane.

He received two Parker pens from suspended Crime Intelligence Head, Richard Mdluli, four bottles of wine from Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2016 and a tea set from Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir in 2014, a year before Al Bashir was allowed to enter and leave the country despite being wanted for crimes against humanity.

"What was obvious of concern is why the president is receiving gifts from a person who is wanted for crimes of genocide and killing of African people, it's clear that the president was willing to get gifts from anybody," said Maimane.

Maimane said he would be submitting applications in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (2 of 2000) to gain access to Moodley's employment records and to gain access to private declarations that Zuma may have made.

He will also be laying a complaint with the Public Protector.

"Somebody is lying and I am not willing to say that Mr Pauw is lying, it must be investigated thoroughly."

Source: News24

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