President Jacob Zuma has denied receiving payments from private individuals and companies saying the allegations were meant to undermine the ANC and his presidency.
Journalist and author Jacques Pauw alleged in his explosive new book‚ The President’s Keepers‚ that Zuma was on the payroll of a security company owned by one of his benefactors‚ pocketing R1m a month for some time after becoming president.
It is also stated in the book that Zuma failed to submit his tax returns for a number of years after he became president‚ despite SARS trying several times to get him to do so.
Furthermore‚ Pauw alleged in the book that Zuma’s ex-wife and ANC presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma‚ received money and material support for her presidential bid from a controversial cigarette manufacturer and self-confessed fraudster ‚ Adriano Mazzotti.
Suspected tobacco smugglers paid tens of thousands of rand every month for several years to Zuma’s son‚ Edward‚ for his political influence‚ according to the book.
Responding to questions in the National Assembly from DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday‚ Zuma said: “I did not receive payments from private individuals or companies during my tenure as president‚ other than those which [have] been disclosed or reported to the necessary authorities.”
Responding to another question‚ Zuma said: “Well I do not know exactly what is it that makes people make allegations. There are many books‚ articles [about Zuma] on a daily basis‚ as well as people talking on TV and radio. My speculation is that [these allegations are made because] Zuma leads biggest party in the country which is in government‚ and they [those making allegations] are trying to find ways to undermine the ANC and the president. That is my speculation.”
At the weekend‚ the presidency denied the allegations that he failed to submit his tax returns for a number of years.
In a follow up question‚ Maimane asked whether Zuma would be prepared to table his declaration of interests from 2009.
“On behalf of the people of South Africa‚ with all sincerity‚ none of us believe you…this book states you received a million rand every month. What I want to know after the Nkandla issue and many other issues‚ is whether you can come to Parliament and table your declaration of interest from 2009‚” asked Maimane.
Zuma dodged this question‚ prompting DA chief whip John Steenhuisen to rise on a point of order. Steenhuisen said Zuma had failed to answer a simple question: Whether he is prepared to table his declaration of interests from 2009.
National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete said Zuma had answered the question‚ and proceeded to the next questions on the order paper.
Thursday was Zuma’s final question and answer session for the year.
He has faced tough questions from opposition MPs throughout the year amid mounting evidence of state capture and corruption within his administration. The president‚ dogged by numerous scandals and declining popularity‚ has faced growing calls within and outside the ANC to step down.