Panama Papers scandal: Khulubuse Zuma responds to allegations

President Zuma's nephew is linked to the company which scored a R100 billion oil deal in the DRC.

FILE: Khulubuse Zuma outside the Justice Department offices in Pretoria in 2012. Picture: The Times/Gallo Images.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma's nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, says the so-called Panama Papers do not contain any information that South Africans don't already know.

The files have been leaked to the media and contain more than 11 million records from a Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, that show how leaders, businessman and celebrities have been hiding their money in offshore tax shelters like the British Virgin Islands or the Seychelles.

Zuma is linked to one of the companies, Caprikat Limited, which scored a R100 billion oil deal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

His spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize says South Africans have known for six years that that the businessman signed an agreement on behalf of the Caprikat Limited in the British Virgin Islands.

"The reports do not allege that Khulubuse holds an offshore bank account, when in actual fact he does not. All the report alleges is that he is associated with a company registered in the British Virgin Islands."

There are allegations that President Jacob Zuma played a crucial role in the decision by DRC President Joseph Kabila to allocate the oilfields to his nephew, but Mkhize says he is not aware of these reports.

The leaked Panama Papers cover a period over almost 40 years, from 1977 until last December, and allegedly show that some companies domiciled in tax havens were being used for suspected money laundering, arms and drug deals and tax evasion.

Tax authorities in Australia and New Zealand are meanwhile probing local clients at Mossack Fonseca.

Britain's Guardian newspaper said the documents showed a network of secret offshore deals and loans worth $2 billion led to close friends of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters couldn't independently confirm those details.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) said on Monday it is investigating more than 800 wealthy clients of Mossack Fonseca.

"Currently we have identified over 800 individual taxpayers and we have now linked over 120 of them to an associate offshore service provider located in Hong Kong."