POLITICS

Going Gangster: 5 Questions For President Jacob Zuma

The gradation from bad to worse hardly applies under this flood of scandals anymore.

30/10/2017 14:47 SAST | Updated 30/10/2017 15:45 SAST
Rogan Ward / Reuters

Revelations in the book "The President's Keeper" by Jacques Pauw bring to 10 the number of major scandals the South African leader has survived.

Read: EXTRACT: How SARS Official Blocked Zuma's Pal And The ANC

The gradation from bad to worse hardly applies under this flood of scandals anymore, but news that President Jacob Zuma was paid a second salary of R1-million by Durban businessman and racehorse owner Roy Moodley appears to be in violation of several laws, including the Constitution.

Zuma has issued a blanket denial via his spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga.

He said Zuma had declared to the relevant authorities all income received.

"Allegations contained in the reports are misleading and are clearly part of the ongoing smear campaigns. The tax matters of the President are in order‚" Ngqulunga said.

But the statement raises more questions than answers. Here are some questions we'd like to ask our president.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

1. Tax Returns?

If the tax matters of the president are in order, can he show us his tax returns? This is not to be rude or intrude on privacy, but the salaries of public servants and political leaders are public knowledge.

The president earns R233,000 per month. He is not allowed by law to moonlight or freelance so his tax returns should be easy to submit and finalise.

2. Annual Returns?

Has the president submitted annual tax returns and to whom did he declare earnings?

The book alleges that the SA Revenue Service (SARS) VIP unit had to keep reminding Zuma to submit his returns. One of the reasons that the entire top leadership of SARS was removed, it appears, was because its executives had to keep reminding the head of state to submit his returns.

3. Income?

Does the president earn any other income outside his salary?

If so, this is illegal. The Constitution section on the conduct of Cabinet says members of the Cabinet may not undertake any other paid work. Is it fair to surmise that if the president's friends Schabir Shaik and Roy Moodley paid him, as has been proven in court and alleged in a book, that the Gupta family do too?

The Gupta family own a network of interests across the economy, many of which have been accumulated because of their access to the first citizen.

4. Who hired Duduzane Zuma?

Who appointed Duduzane Zuma the head of human resources for the Presidency?

The book reveals that the president's son, Duduzane Zuma, picked up former KwaZulu-Natal head of the Hawks, General Johan Booysen, and took him to the Gupta family estate in Saxonwold, Johannesburg where he was offered the job of Hawks big boss.

Previously, Duduzane Zuma picked up former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas from the Hyatt hotel and took him to Saxonwold where he was offered the job of finance minister.

Did we miss the official notice that the first son is in charge of presidential appointments at the Union Buildings?

5. Inquiry into state capture?

When will President Zuma appoint a commission of inquiry into state capture?

This week will be a year since former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her "State of Capture" report. Since then, we have heard regularly that the President is applying his mind. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has said you are dotting the Is and crossing the Ts on the proclamation. Ke nako, boss.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters