Zuma declines to answer parly questions on Guptas

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South African president Jacob Zuma gives his remarks as he officially open the Convention International Trade in Endangered Species of the wild Fauna and Flora on September 24, 2016 at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg.

PARLIAMENT – President Jacob Zuma has declined to answer parliamentary questions relating to the Gupta family or their alleged offers of Cabinet positions to politicians on the grounds that he is considering mounting a court challenge to former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on state capture.

In a written reply to questions from the opposition, Zuma on Monday responded to 11 of these with the same answer, stating that Madonsela made no conclusive findings but that he is mulling a review application and therefore cannot comment in any way on matters that relate to her report.

READ: Madonsela must stop commenting on State of Capture report : Presidency

“The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the report into allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the president and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of ministers and executives of state owned enterprises,” he noted in the replies released by his office.

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

 

 

In the 355-page report, Madonsela found that Zuma may have flouted the law on several occasions by failing to act on indications of improper conduct involving the executive, the Gupta family and state-owned enterprises.

She ordered that a commission of inquiry be established within 30 days to further investigate allegations of corruption in this regard.

The parliamentary questions included whether he was at the Guptas’ home when they sought to determine Cabinet appointments, whether his wife Bongi Ngema-Zuma has had help from the family in buying a home in Waterkloof and whether he ordered former Cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko to help the family’s New Age Newspaper secure more government advertising.