Zuma: I’m not firing Minister Muthambi

President Jacob Zuma told the National Assembly on Thursday that he had no plans to get rid of Muthambi in response to a question about when she would be fired.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN – Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) desperate to see the back of Cabinet Minister Faith Muthambi have been told she’s here to stay.

Muthambi was fingered in leaked Gupta emails for allegedly sending confidential Cabinet memos to the controversial family and their associates while she was communications minister.

President Jacob Zuma told the National Assembly on Thursday that he had no plans to get rid of Muthambi in response to a question about when she would be fired.

An internal legal report that’s before Parliament recommends she be investigated for possibly misleading the inquiry into the SABC board last year.

She is also causing ructions in her new portfolio of Public Service and Administration.

MPs want her to respond to media reports that she wasted nearly R500,000 in public funds on flying 30 friends and family to Cape Town for her budget vote speech in May.

Although her troubles in the legislature are piling up, Zuma told Agang-SA MP Andries Tlouamma that she’s not going anywhere.

“I’m not firing Minister Muthambi, I have not taken that decision.”

Pressure group, Outa, has laid treason charges against Muthambi over the Cabinet memo leaks.

HOSTILE RECEPTION

On Thursday, Zuma faced hard questions in the house, not least from Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.

Faced with Zuma’s denials, Malema asked why he was not taking legal action against those who placed him at meetings where he asked for favours, or the media who reported such allegations?

“Why are you not taking action at least to protect the good image of the office, if you don’t care personally?

Zuma replied: “I don’t know whether members want to play politics. Firstly, people say something about president Zuma in this country every day. Should I stand every day, take everybody to court? You say a lot of things about me, should I do so?”

Zuma’s told MPs he’s considering the terms of reference for a commission of inquiry into state capture, but he’s given no date as to when it might start.

He’s gone to court to challenge former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendation that Chief Justice Mogeong Mogoeng appoints the judge to lead the inquiry, given that Zuma is implicated. The case is set to be heard in October.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)