President Jacob Zuma said he would not be answering questions on state capture report asked by Members of the Parliament.
Being the key individual implicated in the explosive state capture report, Zuma declined to answer written questions from MPs on the matter.
In parliamentary replies released on Monday, Zuma gave a standard answer to 10 different questions from opposition MPs regarding his relationship with the Gupta family.
He said the questions formed part of the subject matter of Madonsela’s report into alleged “state capture”, which he said he cannot provide answers to because he was still studying its content.
“The questions asked form part of the subject matter of the report into allegations of improper and unethical conduct by the president and other state functionaries on matters relating to the removal and appointment of ministers and executives of state-owned enterprises,” answered Zuma in at least nine of the 13 questions he responded to.
“After the state capture report was released, I have since indicated that I am giving consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge.
“I therefore cannot answer these questions as they form part of the said report,” Zuma stated.
Top questions from the MPs came mostly from DA MPs, including Glynnis Breytenbach, Tandeka Gqada, David Maynier, chief whip John Steenhuisen and DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Gqada asked Zuma for details of his home loan from VBS Mutual Bank to pay back the R7.8m of taxpayers’ money spent on nonsecurity upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead. While DA leader Mmusi Maimane wanted to know what Zuma’s relationship with the Gupta family was, on which dates he had visited the family at their Saxonwold residence and if the family had ever given him a gift.
Madonsela’s report (Secure in Comfort) recommended that the president pay back a portion of the money spent as he benefited unduly. The Treasury determined the amount to be paid.
Zuma said the remedial actions set out in the report were inconclusive. Due to legal challenges, he also said he could not answer any questions on the report’s contents.
“I raised the amount R7.8m through a home loan obtained from VBS Mutual Bank on its standard terms … After paying over the amount … to the South African Reserve Bank, I as a matter of courtesy, advised the Constitutional Court that I have paid the amount as per the order of that court,” he said.
Responding to a Maynier question on banks closing accounts of Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments, hinting at an inquiry into the financial institutions, Zuma said the minister issued the statement in his personal capacity and not on behalf of the task team or cabinet.
“I am not in the position to answer why the minister Zwane in his reply on 22 September 2016 said that he was not speaking in his personal capacity. The question in this regard must be directed to the minister. I reprimanded the minister for the statement,” Zuma said.