Fin24

ANC mum on Zuma finances report

2012-12-07 18:55

Johannesburg - The ANC declined to comment on a Mail & Guardian report on Friday claiming President Jacob Zuma had more benefactors than previously thought to cover his debts and expenses.

"We can't comment on a private matter as an organisation. It has nothing to do with anybody," spokesperson Keith Khoza said.

The African National Congress would not discuss the report with Zuma either, on the grounds that his finances were private.

"We cannot dignify irresponsible reporting by the Mail & Guardian; this has got nothing to do with the public office and the office of the president."

The Young Communist League of SA (YCLSA) said the story was "repackaged" gossip, using old tricks intended to discredit Zuma ahead of the party's 53rd national conference in Mangaung, where the party's top leadership will be elected.

"The story has nothing [but] Mangaung written all over it, and takes us back five years ago where the media was used to try and dissuade delegates from pushing ahead with the election of the President Jacob Zuma," said Mawethu Rune, YCLSA deputy national chair.

The information in the report was not tested either, denying Zuma the right to reply, it said.

The YCLSA believed that "the more the slander targeted at victimising President Zuma, the better he stands to be re-elected".

According to the 500-page KPMG report, a 2006 forensic probe into Zuma's finances revealed that former president Nelson Mandela gave him R1m to help settle his debts.

According to the report, Mandela came to Zuma's rescue in June 2005, a few days after he was fired as deputy president and after the National Prosecuting Authority announced it would charge Zuma with corruption relating to alleged bribes from French arms company Thales.

A total of 783 payments were made to Zuma by his corruption-convicted, former financial adviser Schabir Shaik, amounting to more than R4m.

Zuma benefited from several businessmen, including his nephew Khulubuse Zuma, and Durban businessperson Vivian Reddy.

According to the report large commercial banks "bent over backwards" to accommodate Zuma because of his political position, writing off his bad debts.

Standard Bank reportedly wrote off a bond account as bad debt. Absa reportedly opened accounts in spite of his history of poor or late repayments, because of his "strategic positioning".

Standard Bank spokesperson Erik Larsen said: "Standard Bank is bound by law not to discuss clients' financial affairs. This applies to all the banks."

Absa spokesperson Patrick Wadula said it was attending to the request for comment.

The report said an FNB official wrote that he or she was sure the "powers that be will assist us where we need to bend the rules a little".

Bank spokesperson Steve Higgins said: "The bank's lending decisions are based on the customer's ability to repay the loan and the securities provided to support the facility. We are unable to discuss customer accounts as these matters are confidential to the customer."

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory spokesperson Sello Hatang said he was not in a position to comment on Friday as he did not have the information contained in the KPMG report.

Comment from presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj could not immediately be obtained as he was out of the country with Zuma, who was on a working visit to Tanzania. An official in the presidency said only Maharaj could comment.

Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes said the paper ran the story without seeking comment first from Zuma or others named in it, contrary to their right of reply practice. This was because the risk of being prevented from publishing it "was real".

The publication invited comment on the story, which it said it would publish immediately.

The Democratic Alliance said Zuma had to take a leave of absence until his name had been cleared.

"The full story will come out eventually, but until then President Zuma must take a leave of absence from his office until these allegations have been proved or discounted," said Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe, who is also chairperson of the DA federal executive.

The KPMG report was prepared ahead of Zuma's high court appearance on corruption charges in 2006. It was however not used once the charges were dropped, after the NPA said it had found evidence of interference in the investigation.

The DA was trying through the courts to get the tapes which formed the basis for the decision to have the corruption charges dropped, and the record of the decision.

The Christian Democratic Party's Rev Theunis Botha said Zuma could no longer be considered a suitable candidate for president, called for him to step down, and for a caretaker president to be appointed until the controversy around the funding of his home in Nkandla was resolved.

Comments
  • spha.mncube - 2012-12-07 20:11

    Good for him.

  • Rhulani - 2012-12-07 21:08

    If anc think being mum is being politicaly good, they won't get my vote, friends, family, close community members in the next election which amount to 100 people

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-12-07 21:23

    gotta give mac some time to spin this one.

      zondra.hoffmann - 2012-12-10 11:20

      Yes, Mac will definitely have to do some pretty twinkle toe dancing around this one. They have a habit of saying a heck of a lot without saying anything substantial or even worth taking note of!! I scratch you back, you scratch mine!!!

  • franco.beukman - 2012-12-08 01:09

    Let's be honest people.no Matter how many charges are made against ZUMA,No matter how many evidence there is to proof he is guilty .by no means is Zuma a leader.and no matter if the country goes down the drain .the ANC will always find a way to protect him.change laws ,delay processes ,blame the white man ,blame apartheid.use the race card .why? Cause they don't knw wot the next step is to take to build south africa they did not plan beyond the first step of getting freedom.it is time for the people to make a change them self

  • johann.vanryneveld - 2012-12-08 01:15

    History has got a nack of repeating itself, many politician found out to their demise .(the nats info scandal) Thank God for the press ,the ANC wil learn but to late what they are trying to hide ,the press will unearth it.Dont worry mr Zuma you will get your day in court.

  • flippn.cool - 2012-12-08 01:20

    "We can't comment on a private matter as an organisation. It has nothing to do with anybody," It's not a private matter when it's the president of a country and tax payers money is used for personal benefit. The president is paid a salary of R2.6 million a year (about R10 400 a day) so you have to ask yourself, what is he doing to earn R10 400 a day? He recently got a 5% increase. I ask you - for what? There are more reports of corruption during his term than any president before, there are more provinces with collapsing institutions like health, education and policing. While the people in this country struggle and seem to be poorer, he is building a R250 000 000 home for his family from money that was loaned to him when they knew he couldn't pay it back, and from money tax payers had to pay (or be jailed) that was a kick back from an arms deal that has given us submarines that have been crashed and fighter jets that we can't afford to fly, and have no real use for or expertise or money in the long term to account for. There are only two types of people who would vote Zuma in for a 2nd Term: 1) Too stupid to understand what's going on 2) Are bought That is the bottom line.

      morne.toit - 2012-12-08 06:39

      Now you know why the ANC wont educate the masses.......they need to be kept in the dark................

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-12-08 07:01

    Caravans a symbol of wealth and corruption? Wow Dino, please take your head out of the dark hole you living in. I wish YOUR president would take up caravanning instead of stealing. Mind you, he would most likely steal the caravan for him and one each for his family and friends. Shaik to take up caravanning instead of golf? I think not. 70's is sooooo right brian.

  • john.green.75286 - 2012-12-08 08:36

    I just want to thank the M & G for bringing this out into the light...I think it takes a lot of guts and courage to do this type of thing. Lets hope it's all true and not spiculation only!

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-12-08 08:59

    Zuma has all this money in his bunker at Nkandla. He loved Ducktales so much and want to swim in tax payers money like Scrooge McDuck.

  • andrew.worrall.5 - 2012-12-08 09:10

    The rest of us get black listed if we don't pay back our loans....these banks are showing how crooked they are. Boycott them.

  • annelise.vanderschyff - 2012-12-08 09:38

    I wonder why????ha ha!!!!!

  • Doorboot - 2012-12-08 10:08

    The YCLSA believed that "the more the slander targeted at victimising President Zuma, the better he stands to be re-elected". This statement says it all... The bigger the criminal the more support. By the way it was not slander but rather a KPMG report.

  • lungile.ndyibithi - 2012-12-08 11:33

    I support the move by the ANC to re-elect JZ as their President and with all what is surfacing they must forget being the ruling party. Our lives are being handed back to the hands of the oppresor on a silver platter.

      jacque.raymer - 2012-12-08 14:14

      Apartheid ended 18 years ago, what ever has happened since then has been your own doing, no one elses. For more than 13 years now the papers have been daily filled with ANC scandals and it just keeps getting worse, the world laughs at us and all the while your people keep suffering. This is one problem you cannot blame on the white man. This is your own doing, keep voting ANC, i love all this drama.

  • jacque.raymer - 2012-12-08 14:09

    They are politicians, nothing is private where they are concerned, specially when tax payers money is involved or they represent the country.

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-12-08 14:31

    If the masses still support him then they are thieves as well and it will just cause more problems in this country. Without a multi-state solution, I fear there is no way we all we live here will ever see a better life.

  • William.R.Sharp - 2012-12-08 17:33

    Zuma will never leave the trough, there is currently a feeding frenzy and the ANC leadership and their friends are at the very front of the queue. They cannot be removed by the courts as the justice system in South Africa has been made toothless by an incompetent and easily swayed NPA. As far as the ANC is concerned tax payers pockets are deep and their position of entitlement means that they will keep stealing the tax payers money and accepting bribes and offerings from business people who they can influence deals for as long as they can possibly hang on for. We are in for a very bumpy ride.

      aiazmir - 2012-12-08 23:46

      Well said.

  • mahomed.dawjee - 2012-12-08 21:58

    How can it be called a private matter when it involves the president of the country?

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-12-09 08:21

    EXTREME CORRUPTION - and the anc will try pull the wool over everyones eyes that THIS CORRUPTION IS A PRIVATE MATTER. They are so ingrained into corruption that they cannot recognise it for corruption and in fact now want to legitimize it. ARREST AND JAIL ZUMA TODAY - even the minister of police should be able to clearly see that all laws have been broken even to lying in parliament WHICH IS IN ITSELF AN EXTREME OFFENCE. Are you ALL just lounging around on your chairs like JZ does looking as though you expect some floozy to come and perform a lap massage for you?

      mark.mirage.71 - 2012-12-09 15:34

      We apologise for the delay in the promulgation of the State Information Bill. This report by KPMG should never have become public knowledge and will be retrospectively classified a state secret. This document does not contain any information that you, the unapprised populace would comprehend and appreciate. No respected President should be required to live without the entitled opulence as to be expected from the wealthiest. Our utmost gratitude is bestowed upon those, whom so generously donated to this most noble cause.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-12-09 14:01

    Look north and witness our future. Wow, scary stuff and yet the people ( previously disadvantaged and still disadvantaged) are not willing to do anything. Maybe, like the lotto, their hoping that just perhaps one tender will come their way. Sorry guys, all you getting is a boerewors roll for your cross on a piece of paper . That's all guys. Now go back to your shacks and be grateful we have such a great leader in this Zuma chap.

  • samantha.byrne.3363 - 2012-12-09 14:20

    Dino I am surprised you have a computer/phone......if you can work/use these that indicates that you can think .....and that's the best you can come up with?.......kinda like.....is this the best the ANC can come up with......what was the (fight ?) for ....all that has changed is that everybody now has a vote,bad laws gone....the poor are now poorer.......the NATS did the same ,the press was not free to publish it.......what happennned to " for the people"

  • kobus.laubscher.3 - 2012-12-09 14:50

    I wonder if we ever going to have a respectable president in this country?

      mark.mirage.71 - 2012-12-09 15:35

      We apologise for the delay in the promulgation of the State Information Bill. This report by KPMG should never have become public knowledge and will be retrospectively classified a state secret. This document does not contain any information that you, the unapprised populace would comprehend and appreciate. No respected President should be required to live without the entitled opulence as to be expected from the wealthiest. Our utmost gratitude is bestowed upon those, whom so generously donated to this most noble cause.

  • pieter.scholtz1 - 2012-12-10 08:02

    He who votes for a leader who is known to be corrupt is guilty of corruption himself.

  • sisie.indola - 2012-12-10 08:09

    And someone opened their big trap wanting to give him R10 million a year salary. Will never help - he obviously has no concept of money and therefore will carry on just stealing - this is what happens when you make a herd boy a president.

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