Zuma says no to dropping his name

President Jacob Zuma. (Mike Hutchings, Reuters)

President Jacob Zuma. (Mike Hutchings, Reuters)

However, Zuma stopped short of calling for action against those who name-drop.

"We call for vigilance and urge all our officials who are entrusted with managing state institutions not to succumb to pressure from name-droppers," the president said on Thursday.

"They should immediately report to their superiors and to law enforcement agencies, anyone who behaves in this manner."

The president's statement follows the release of the report into the landing of a chartered plane carrying guests destined for the Gupta family wedding at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in April.

The report found that the name of the president and several ministers was used to flout procedures and secure privileges.

According to the statement, Zuma did not authorise any government official to process or approve the landing of the plane as alleged in the information put before the investigators.

'Using and abusing' names
"It is unfortunate that some officials and members of the public would resort to that practice of using and abusing the names of members of Cabinet in this manner to further their own ends," Zuma added.

The landing sparked widespread criticism and brought into sharp focus the nature of the relationship between Zuma and the Gupta family.

When asked specifically if Zuma had relayed the message to the Gupta family and their representatives, presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj retorted: "This is a public statement and I can only imagine that all members of the public are free to read it and will do so."

Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer

Nickolaus Bauer is the Mail & Guardian's jack of all trades news reporter that chases down stories ranging from politics and sports to big business and social justice. Armed with an iPad, SLR camera, camcorder and dictaphone, he aims to fight ignorance and pessimism through written words, photographs and videos. He believes South Africa could be the greatest country in the world if only her citizens would give her a chance to flourish instead of dwell on the negativity. When he's not begging his sub-editors for an extra twenty minutes after deadline, he's also known to dabble in the occasional poignant column that will leave you mulling around in the depths of your psyche. The quintessential workaholic, you can also catch him doing sports on the weekday breakfast show on SAfm and presenting the SAfm Sports Special over the weekend. Read more from Nickolaus Bauer

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