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Zuma insists he's 'in charge'

The president has denied the Gupta family’s involvement in appointing ministers or their deputies.

President Jacob Zuma has moved swiftly to clarify that he is the one who appoints ministers and not anyone else. Picture: Screengrab

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma has denied the Gupta family's involvement in appointing his Cabinet ministers or their deputies insisting that he is in charge.

Zuma faced questions from opposition MPs in the National Assembly yesterday, where the Democratic Alliance (DA) staged a mass walkout after its leader, Mmusi Maimane, was ordered to leave by Speaker Baleka Mbete.

Before exiting, Maimane shouted, "You are protecting the Guptas".

WATCH: Maimane leaves Parliament.

Maimane had pressed Zuma over Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas's confirmation that he'd been offered Treasury's top post by the Guptas.

Full Statement from Jonas. A watershed SA moment - he must have thought long and hard and carefully crafted it. pic.twitter.com/4yRa4ZcLQb

"It has become quite clear that power does no longer sit at the Union Buildings. In fact it's worse, it does not even sit at Luthuli House, it now sits at Saxonworld. So Mr President, you and your family are getting richer while South Africans are getting poorer and losing work."

Zuma was adamant there were good reasons for sacking former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

"I am in charge of the government, I appoint in terms of the Constitution. There is no minister here who was appointed by the Guptas or anybody else. Ministers are appointed by me."

When asked about the new presidential jet, Zuma then said it was not his task to organise his jet.

He was responding to a question by the DA in Parliament regarding a proposal to buy a new jet after the presidential aircraft broke down in Burundi recently.

Despite the question not being on the official list, Zuma gave an answer.

"I'm not responsible to buy aircraft. That's not my task. There is a task of specific departments."

WATCH: Zuma reacts to alleged 'Gupta appointments'

MALEMA WITHDRAWS QUESTION FOR ZUMA

Julius Malema's question for Zuma in the National Assembly was withdrawn.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) announced the party would not be participating in Zuma's question and answer session, saying it saw no value in doing so.

Parliament was issued an amended question paper, as Zuma prepared to face MPs barely 24 hours after Jonas, confirmed that the Gupta family had offered him Treasury's top position.

Malema was set to ask the president whether he received any communication from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in connection with removing South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane from his post.

That question was, however, scratched after the EFF decided it would be meaningless to ask Zuma anything, and more worthwhile to have the Gupta family answering questions.

DA LAYS FORMAL CHARGES

Yesterday, Maimane and the party's shadow finance minister David Maynier called on police to investigate charges of corruption against the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane.

They've laid charges at the Cape Town Central Police Station.

The DA has called for Zuma's removal.

WATCH: Maimane lays formal charges against Guptas

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