Explosive new details of the alleged criminal network around President Jacob Zuma were revealed by the Sunday Times which raises new questions about the head of state's suitability for the country's top job and the friends he chooses to keep.
According to investigative journalist Jacques Pauw, an elaborate system of patronage has developed around Zuma which boths seeks to protect him as the lynchpin but also serves to enrich his associates and acolytes.
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Extracts from Pauw's new book, The President's Keepers, were published in the newspaper on Sunday.
Some of the revelations include:
- Zuma was on the payroll of a KwaZulu-Natal security company owened by his friend Roy Moodley for four months after he became president.
- SARS tried to encourage, cajole and convince Zuma to declare his tax returns on various occasions after he became president. He never did and is liable for millions in unpaid taxes.
- SARS was gutted by Tom Moyane after Zuma became president seemingly to protect him from unpaid taxes and demands that he pay fringe benefit tax on Nkandla.
- Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's campaign for ANC president is being partly funded by money donated to her campaign by a self-confessed tobacco smuggler and money launderer.
Pauw also reported that thousands of rands were deposited into the bank account of Edward Zuma, one of the president's sons, allegedly to be used towards Nkandla, the president's estate in rural Kwa-Zulu-Natal.
The book also sheds light on the allegations and rumours of a massive cash payment to Zuma. According to Pauw a mysterious private plane, with origins in Russia, landed in 2011 delivering medical equipment and "a lot of cash" for Nkandla.