It’s not my job to answer books – Zuma on ‘monthly millions’

Jacob Zuma. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
Jacob Zuma. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

President Jacob Zuma has denied that he received any undisclosed money from private individuals or companies during his term as president.

This was Zuma’s answer to an urgent question put on the order paper by Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane for today’s question session in the National Assembly, relating to allegations that he had received monthly payments of R1 million from Roy Moodley, without declaring it to the South African Revenue Service.

The allegation is in investigative journalist Jacques Pauw’s book The President’s Keepers.

In his follow-up question, Maimane – waving a copy of Pauw’s book around – asked Zuma if he would table his declarations of interests since 2009 in Parliament.

“I have given a very categoric answer to the question. There are many books talking about Jacob Zuma,” said Zuma.

According to him, these books contain “speculation and rumour”.

“I don’t think it is my job to answer books.”

Maimane wasn’t happy with this answer, but Speaker Baleka Mbete moved on to the next follow-up question by Cope MP Deidre Carter.

Amid much noise from the ANC backbenches, Carter said she had asked for Zuma’s declaration of interests in 2016, but was yet to receive a reply. She also asked what he was doing regarding the allegations of corruption against him and his son.

“Corruption done by who?” Zuma replied.

He said he could not hear Carter’s question.

Carter repeated the question.

“I’m not sure that I heard the question properly. How can I answer a question I cannot hear?”

Again, Carter repeated the question.

ANC deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude said this was a new question, and Mbete initially disallowed it.

After DA chief whip John Steenhuisen pointed out that Carter’s question followed from Zuma’s answer, Mbete said she would reconsider after consultation with the table staff.

The next follow-up question was by National Freedom Party MP Munzoor Shaik-Emam, who rose amid cheers from ANC MPs and derision from the DA benches.

He asked why Zuma thought people were making allegations against him.

“I don’t know exactly what makes people to make allegations,” said Zuma.

He said his speculation was that it was because he led the biggest party in the country that had won every election since 1994.

“They [those who make allegations] are trying to find a way to undermine the ANC,” he said.

Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh referred to the television quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and asked if Zuma’s initial response to the original question was his final answer.

DA MP Ian Ollis jumped up and said that maybe Zuma should be asked if he wanted to call a friend.

“Yes, this is the final answer,” Zuma replied. – News24

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