Zuma: I don't know where #GuptaEmails come from

President Jacob Zuma answers questions in Parliament.
President Jacob Zuma answers questions in Parliament.

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma says he has no idea where the so-called #GuptaEmails have come from, and they will be tested during three separate probes into state capture.

Zuma was answering questions in the National Assembly on Thursday when he said the country must let the law takes its course around probes into state capture.

NFP MP Nhlanhlakayise Khubisa asked Zuma in a supplementary question if it was urgent for his government to "harness" the continuous leak of the damning emails, to protect the country.

"The very fact that every Sunday, the emails or whatever, are up there, it indicates how transparent the country is," Zuma responded.

"In other countries, you don't see such things.

"Secondly: the emails, I don't know where they come from, I don't know how authentic they are, they have not been tested in any institutions.

"What has been done as part of our measures, we have taken a decision to establish a judicial commission of inquiry, and the emails will be a part of that. So we are not leaving them unattended to."

He said the inquiry will find out to what extent they are disrupting the lives of South Africans.

"We are moving as fast as possible to establish the commission," he finished amid Democratic Alliance MPs shouting over him.

'Rome is burning'

IFP chief whip Narend Singh followed up by saying Zuma has been accused of being lukewarm on the serious nature of the leaked emails.

Singh asked, while "Rome is burning", how will Zuma ensure that radical economic transformation remains untainted by state capture.

Zuma said there are at least three processes underway to probe state capture.

"Just a few days before she [the former Public Protector] left office, she produced a report... That was something being done.

"Some of the findings have been taken on review. There has never been quietness.

"The new Public Protector is also attending to the report. You also said Parliament is discussing the matter. So it is not as if Rome is burning and nothing is being done.”

The presidency will announce in due course when its judicial commission will be established and begin its work.

He finished by asking rhetorically how many institutions should investigate before MPs are satisfied, and which ones will produce the best results.

"Which of all of these three will produce the report where we can say, this is the report with the kind of recommendations to implement?

"Who is burning the Rome?"

'Go ask the NPA about corruption charges'

ACDP leader Kenneth Meshoe asked the original question on whether Zuma plans to expedite the process around setting up a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

Zuma said the country must let law enforcement agencies do their work in the processes around the setting up of a judicial commission of inquiry.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane also said that when he laid charges against Zuma to reinstate corruption charges against him, it had taken the NPA 1200 days to investigate.

"Is it acceptable for the NPA to take 1200 days on the matters I laid against you?" Maimane asked.

Zuma quipped, "I think the honourable member is asking the wrong person. You did not lay the charges against me to investigate.

"What the NPA is doing, I don't know."

DA MPs shouted, "He doesn't care".

"I didn't say I don't care, I said I don't know," Zuma answered.

"Why you are asking me, I'm not investigating. You should go to where you made the charges and ask why it is taking long. You are asking the wrong person."

'What else can you do?'

During the round, Zuma landed a subtle jab at opposition parties, accompanied by his trademark laugh, when they failed to receive the answers they wanted.

Meshoe had said most South Africans are worried about the leak of the emails, and wanted to know if he would intervene in the problems at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

He also asked Zuma if he can name an example where action was being taken against corruption in state-owned enterprises like Prasa.

"I don't agree that most South Africans have the view that you express," he answered. "That's an exaggeration, there is no testing that has been made.

"Secondly, you contradict yourself. You say no action has been taken, but then you say action has been taken.

"The chairperson of the board is now complaining that the action has not [been] completed. You ask me, can you mention one example? You have just mentioned Prasa.

"[You're] just politicking. What else can you do?" he finished with a laugh.

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