Johannesburg - Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane must investigate claims that President Jacob Zuma and his family members met with Cabinet ministers to secure government contracts and other financial benefits, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday.
Maimane said that according to a report, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete was in possession of an affidavit by a former chief director in the Department of Public Service and Administration, Brent Simmons, which claimed that Zuma lied about assisting family members in making contact with Cabinet ministers and securing government contracts.
Maimane urged Mbete to make the affidavit public to ensure that it appears in Parliament's Announcements, Tablings and Committee (ATC) reports.
The Sunday Times reported that Simmons said in the affidavit that he had been present when Zuma sent his relatives to Cabinet ministers “with clear instruction to help these family members secure contracts where possible”.
According to the newspaper, Simmons alleged that when he worked in the office of the Minister in the Presidency in 2014 and later in the Department of Public Service and Administration, he had witnessed the president directing his relatives to the late Collins Chabane – who was minister of public service and administration at the time.
Maimane said on Sunday there now existed prima facie evidence of undue influence and unlawful enrichment, which must be probed.
According to him, the Public Protector Act empowered Mkhwebane to investigate the allegations.
“This investigation should include a full audit of any dealings between government and members of the Zuma family – specifically Jacob Zuma’s children Duduzane, Khulubuse and Mqondisi,” Maimane said.
Presidency spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga told News24 they were not in possession of the affidavit.
“The Presidency hasn’t seen the affidavit. If we have it by tomorrow [Monday], I will be able to give a more comprehensive answer,” Ngqulunga said.