Zuma’s helpers go to ground

2014-10-11 09:26
President Jacob Zuma (File, Sapa)

President Jacob Zuma (File, Sapa)

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Pietermaritzburg - Representatives of the Public Members Unit Team (PMUT) who offered to pay President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla debt as detailed by the public protector, have gone to ground.

The offer was made in a letter to the Public Protector and to Parliament put on the record at the parliamentary ad hoc committee on Nkandla on Thursday.

On Friday, PMUT chairperson Vumelani Mchunu referred all calls to spokesperson Simphiwe Ngema who later issued a statement that read: “The PMUT chairman will call a media briefing once the respond from the parliament has been received (sic)”.

Mchunu runs a business called Dr VumVum Media that is involved with music and video production. Ngema is a vernacular rapper.

According to its letterhead, PMUT is based in 250 Avoca Hills Drive, Avoca Hills, near KwaMashu in Durban. This is a recently built complex of flats and some of the units are yet to be occupied.

According to James Selfe, chairperson of the DA’s federal executive, the property is also the headquarters of an HIV/Aids non-profit organisation (NPO) known as Izigi Zentuthuko. However, the NPO’s full address indicates it is one of the many flats in the complex at 250 Avoca Hills Drive.

When Weekend Witness went to the address on Friday, a security guard would not allow entry to visit PMUT chairperson Mchunu without calling ahead. When telephoned, Mchunu said he was not at home. Weekend Witness confirmed he lived in a flat at the complex.

According to one newspaper report, PMUT consists of over 30 business people who want to help the president and will raise funds to pay his Nkandla debt.

Mchunu said in the letter that the Nkandla issue “humiliated” the president and said that once the amount, if any, owed had been finalised the PMUT “will pay that money back on behalf of the president”.

“We strongly believe that the president was not aware and still not aware of how much exactly was supposed to be spent on his house at Nkandla regarding the security upgrade.”

The ad hoc parliamentary committee chairperson Cedrick Frolick also made public a “formal complaint against the public protector” from the Concerned Lawyers and Educationists for Equality before the law (Cleebaw).

The letter was signed by Durban attorney Mamli Magigaba, acting for Cleebaw, and called for Thuli Madonsela to be removed from office if she was found to have “contravened the constitution and the Public Protector’s Act”. 
Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  durban  |  parliament 2014  |  nkandla upgrade

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