Presidency rejects Malema's allegations on Zuma's Dubai trip

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EFF leader Julius Malema is seen on 15 December 2014 on stage trying to quell tensions during the partys third day of the National peoples Assembly.

PRETORIA – The presidency on Saturday rejected the “preposterous and malicious” allegation by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema that President Jacob Zuma carried R6-billion to Dubai for the Gupta family.

“Mr Malema’s allegation has no basis in fact,” the presidency said in a statement.

Zuma recently concluded “successful visits to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations between South Africa and the two countries respectively”.

“Mr Malema’s malicious allegations are both untruthful and defamatory. The presidency reserves its rights in this regard,” the presidency said.

On Thursday – after the Constitutional Court unanimously found that Zuma had breached the Constitution over the Nkandla matter – Malema told reporters that Zuma “took bags of cash to stash away” on his recent trip to the UAE.

“Zuma’s trip to the UAE was not official, it was personal. He took money to stash away at the UAE just as the Gupta family took R6-billion to Dubai, flouting the requirements of the SA Reserve Bank. Zuma has taken money there… and it is easy for him to do so, he is a president and is not searched by security,” Malema told reporters in Johannesburg.

Malema was speaking after the Constitutional Court found against Zuma in the Nkandla matter on Thursday, ruling that he breached the Constitution when he failed to heed Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on non-security improvements to his private Nkandla residence, and should reimburse the state an amount to be determined by National Treasury.

Malema said Zuma claimed the trip to the UAE was to promote tourism “but the tourism minister was not part of the trip”.

“Where was the minister of tourism if this was about his portfolio? That trip was personal and had nothing to do with this country’s interests,” he said.

The controversial Gupta family, whom Zuma acknowledges are his friends, own The New Age newspaper and TV news channel ANN7. The family, which is at the centre of recent claims of “state capture” is also business partners with Zuma’s son, Duduzane.