President Jacob Zuma on Sunday day flat out denied a report that he had plans to make Dubai his second home.
The City Press revealed on Sunday that it was in possession of emails between the controversial Gupta family and its employees, and the president's intentions were laid out in one of the exchanges.
In an exchange between Sahara Computers' chief executive officer (CEO) Ashu Chawla and Zuma's son, Duduzane, there is a draft letter that the president wrote to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to let him know about intentions of making the United Arab Emirates (UAE) his second home.
"It will be a great honour for me and my family to gain your patronage during our proposed residency in the UAE," Zuma was quoted as saying.
But Zuma said all of this was untrue and that Nkandla would remain his home and planned to retire there. He told the newspaper, via his spokesperson Bonging Nqulunga, that it was all "pure fabrication".
"Duduzane has never spoken to me about living in any other country. He has never shown me any letter. It's shocking in the extreme. It's absolute mischief aimed at sowing confusion" he said.
Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters Commander-In-Chief Julius Malema brought a tweet he sent out in April 2016 about "unconfirmed reports that Zuma wants to leave the country and seek asylum in Dubai".
We warned his country last year April— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) May 28, 2017
The report on Sunday also contained email evidence of the hold that the Gupta family has on the SA government, including the wining and dining of ministers and CEOs, involvement in ministerial employment processes and their involvement in high-profile deals.
The leak comes after a report by nine academics that suggested a probe into how much the Guptas had profited from the state, was released this week.
The investigation found that the Guptas had earned R2,6 billion in 2016.
These are some of the revelations made in the emails as also reported by the Sunday Times this weekend:
- The Guptas funded Des van Rooyen's trip to Dubai after his appointment to the cabinet in December 2015; it was reported that the minister repeatedly lied when he said he had paid for the trip himself and email exchanges showed that reservations were made my a Gupta owned company.
- The family was instrumental in the hiring of Mosebenzi Zwane as minister of mineral resources and later flew him out from his working trip in Switzerland to Dubai in a Gupta-owned plane. He was booked in a luxurious suite at the Oberoi Hotel and chauffeured around in a BMW 7 Series. Zwane is also quoted in the emails seeking advice from the Guptas on how to handle media questions in connection to the Gupta landing at Waterkloof for a wedding in 2013.
- Communications Minister Faith Muthambi also sent mails to the Guptas about issues relating to government policy.
- The former CEO of Gupta-owned Oakbay also prepared notes for ANC Youth League president Collen Maine on how to respond to questions about anti-Gupta sentiments within the ANC, states capture and #Feesmustfall amongst other incidents. The notes were reportedly sent to Tony Gupta and Duduzane Zuma.