/ 24 July 2017

Zuma: I’ve never sought residency outside of SA

Positive spin: President Jacob Zuma in Parliament.
Positive spin: President Jacob Zuma in Parliament.

President Jacob Zuma revealed in a written reply to a Parliamentary question on Monday that he owns no property outside of South Africa and never sought residency for himself or his immediate family overseas.

The question was put to the president by Cope MP Willie Madisha, who asked Zuma if he had sought residency or purchased any property in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for himself or his family.

In reply, Zuma said he owned no property outside of South Africa.

“Further, I have not requested anybody to buy a property for me or on my behalf abroad. I further confirm that I have not sought any residency outside South Africa, either for myself or my immediate family,” he said in the written reply.

He also referred Madisha to an earlier statement, where he denied owning a palace in Dubai.

State capture
In a separate written question, Cope’s Deidre Carter asked Zuma about what steps he intended to take in response to allegations of state capture, including those highlighted in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report, which was published in early November 2016.

In reply Zuma said the report made only “inconclusive observations and does not make any findings against any person”.

“I have instituted review proceedings against the remedial action of the Public Protector and the matter is provisionally set down for a hearing in Court from 24 – 26 October 2017.

“A proper investigation on these allegations will be conducted once the Court has clarified the contentious issues,” he said.

Madisha’s questions about residency overseas refer to revelations contained in the #GuptaLeaks emails.

According to the leaks, on January 16 last year Gupta associate Ashu Chawla forwarded an email with two copies of a letter asking for residency for the president in the UAE to Zuma’s son and Gupta family business partner Duduzane Zuma.

The email, which has the subject line “FW : Draft Letters”, includes two slightly different versions of a letter addressed to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE.

The letters are written in the name of “Jacob G. Zuma, President of South Africa”.

They are not signed, and the response from Sheikh Mohammed, if any, is not included in the correspondence.

‘A second home’
Both letters state that Zuma is intending to make the UAE his second home.

The fourth paragraph in one of the letters states: “It is with this sentiment that I am happy to inform you that my family has decided to make the UAE a second home. It will be a great honour for me and my family to gain your patronage during our proposed residency in the UAE.”

Zuma has previously denied the content of the emails when they were first reported in the City Press in late May this year.

At the time he said, via his spokesperson Bongani Ngqulung, “I have my home in Nkandla and I have no intention of living anywhere else.” – News24