17 April 2019

South Africa: Edward Zuma Allegedly Tried to Get Booysen to Unfreeze R15 Million in Seized Funds, State Capture Inquiry Hears

The son of former president Jacob Zuma, Edward, allegedly attempted to get former KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Hawks boss General Johan Booysen to unfreeze R15m seized from controversial businessman Thoshan Panday.

Booysen's secretary received a request from someone claiming to be the brother of former President Jacob Zuma in June 2010.

"The gentleman arrived at the office. The gentleman introduced himself as Edward Zuma, who is actually not the brother, but the son of the then President.

"He started talking about the R15m I had frozen. He wanted it to be unfrozen. He said he was a silent partner of Panday and he was not getting his dividends," Booysen testified at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Wednesday.

The former KZN Hawks boss then advised Edward to go to Panday and obtain the R900 000 he claimed to have invested and 'walk away'.

Edward has previously distanced himself from the controversial Durban businessman.

Booysen subsequently requested a meeting with then president Zuma to alert him to what his son was up to.

Two meetings took place at Zuma's private residence in Nkandla, facilitated by a friend of Booysen, whom he did not name at the inquiry.

"In the first meeting we arrived at Nkandla and I was asked to wait outside while my friend, who was privy to what Edward was up to, went in and spoke to Zuma.

"He came out, I greeted the president and I had no discussions," Booysen explained.

When the friend returned to the vehicle, Booysen probed him about what transpired in the meeting. The friend told him the then president did not want to get involved.

A second meeting took place in Nkandla where Booysen was invited inside the home of the then president.

"We exchanged greetings but [there were] no formal discussions. He (Zuma) and my friend excused themselves and went into another room.

"They came back and called me in. We sat and spoke about the politics of the day and a few other issues but we never discussed Edward Zuma," Booysen added.

When it became clear that Booysen would not be able to discuss Edward with Zuma, Booysen and his friend approached Zuma's nephew, Khulubuse who was also in Nkandla.

"My friend told Khulubuse, who then said that he would speak to Edward. He believed the president did not want to engage Edward because they were not on good terms.

"He was drinking too much, and he bought a house in Durban North but did not invite his father for the cultural opening," Booysen concluded.

The inquiry continues.

Source: News24

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