[WATCH LIVE] Zuma: I don’t think my job is to answer books
President Jacob Zuma is being asked about allegations that he received monthly R1 million payments from a private company after he became leader of the country.
CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma has denied receiving any payments from private companies or individuals during his tenure other than those he says he's “disclosed or reported” to the necessary authorities.
Zuma was responding in the National Assembly to an urgent question included at the last minute.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) wanted to know about allegations in author and journalist Jacques Pauw's recently released book, The President's Keepers.
It alleges Zuma was on the payroll of a private company Royal Security, owned by a friend and African National Congress benefactor Roy Moodley - and that payments to him of R1 million a month continued after he became head of state in May 2009.
“I did not receive any payments from private individuals or companies during my tenure as president of the Republic of South Africa - other than those disclosed or reported to the necessary authorities.”
DA leader Mmusi Maimane wasn't satisfied.
He asked Zuma if he would table his declarations of interest since 2009: “So that we know for a fact you did not receive that money and that you did pay tax on it and that ultimately what purpose was that money for.”
All MPs and members of the executive - including Zuma - must declare their financial interests to prevent any conflicts of interest arising.
Zuma told the House he’d given a very categoric answer.
“There are many books that have talked about Jacob Zuma in this country and saying all speculations and rumours. I don’t think my job is to answer books.”
Zuma has avoided answering whether he will disclose his financial interests, instead stating that the African National Congress is the largest party and therefore has its detractors.
Zuma responded to requests to answer the allegations.
“There are many articles on a daily basis that are written by journalists as well as people who talk on either the TV or the radio, I can’t tell you exactly what is it that makes them to do so.”
The IFP's Narend Singh then referred to the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.
“I’m asking Mr President, in fairness, is this your final answer?... We might just want to ask if the president wants to call a friend?”
Zuma said: “Yes, this is my final answer.”