Zuma sidesteps ‘state capture’ questions from MPs

President Jacob Zuma has declined to answer written questions from MPs around the findings in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report.

In parliamentary replies released on Monday, Zuma gave a standard answer to 10 different questions from opposition MPs regarding his relationship with the Gupta family.

Zuma said the questions formed part of the subject matter of Madonsela’s report into alleged “state capture”, and he is still studying its contents.

Report inconclusive
“It is clear from the remedial action to be taken that the report is inconclusive,” the reply read.

“After the report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge.

“I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report.”

DA leader Mmusi Maimane wanted to know what Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family was, on which dates he had visited the family at their Saxonwold residence and if the family had ever given him a gift.

Cope MP Deidre Carter wanted to know if Zuma or any members of his family had ever received payments from a certain businessperson, and if so, what the reasons were.

DA MP chief whip John Steenhuisen wanted to know if there was any undue influence in favour of the Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper on the president’s part, and whether he was present at the family’s Saxonwold residence when former MP Vytjie Mentor said she was allegedly offered a Cabinet position while there.

Nkandla home loan
To a question on his loan to pay back a portion of the money spent on upgrades at his Nkandla homestead, Zuma said he raised the R7.8m through VBS Mutual Bank on its standard terms.

“VBS Mutual Bank is one of the few financial institutions which offer home loans in respect of land owned by traditional authorities,” he said in reply to DA MP Tandeka Gqada.

He also said that after paying over the amount of R7 814 155 to the South African Reserve Bank, as a matter of courtesy, he advised the Constitutional Court that he paid the amount.

“I deem such notification sufficient and compliant with both the order of court and of my constitutional obligations.” – News24

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