Maharaj Scandal: President Zuma and Nxesi’s “angazi” defence is all too familiar
16 September 2015
Two replies to DA parliamentary questions reveal that both President Jacob Zuma and Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, are yet again recycling the “angazi” skit used during the Guptagate and Nkandlagate scandal, to avoid being held accountable for former Presidential Spokesperson, Mac Maharaj’s stay at the Ministerial Compound in Pretoria.
In the both question replies, President Zuma and Minister Nxesi claim to not have any records of Mr Maharaj’s stay. That they do not know is inexplicable and unacceptable. South Africans deserve answers as to how public funds – which should be spent on creating opportunities for the people of South Africa – have been spent on benefiting yet another ‘friend’ of President Jacob Zuma.
The DA will submit further questions to ascertain what steps the President and the Minister will take to ‘fill the gap’ and get the information they are now so conveniently lacking.
The reality is that this is a dance we have seen too many times before. Both Minister Nxesi and President Zuma have claimed they had no knowledge of the spending of R246 million of public funds on Nkandla. The President still claims he was unaware of the upgrades. This, despite there being prima facie evidence that he did indeed know about the upgrades.
Another such instance was when the Guptas, as friends of President Zuma, landed a plane at the Waterkloof Airforce Base in Pretoria. Both the President and his Ministers in the Security Cluster claimed they did not know about the landing which, in fact, threatened our national security.
In both the Nkandlagate and Guptagate cases, officials, Minenhle Makhanya and Christine Anderson respectively, were made to walk the plank as sacrificial lambs to protect high-ranking Ministers and Officials and those close to the President. This is no doubt the new status quo for trying to cover up President Zuma’s scandals.
The DA looks forward to the outcome of the Public Protector’s investigation into this matter. South Africans need to know that abusing public funds for the benefit of those with close links to the President will not be tolerated.
Statement issued by Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Deputy Minister in the Presidency, 17 September 2015