Publication: Independent Online Issued: Date: 2003-09-15 Reporter: Sapa

Zuma Escapes Investigation... for Now



Independent Online

Date 2003-09-15



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Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana has rejected, for the time being, a request by the Democratic Alliance to investigate whether Deputy President Jacob Zuma contravened the Executive Ethics Code.

The request was made last week by DA Chief Whip Douglas Gibson.

In a statement on Monday, Mushwana said the complaint did not contain sufficient information to justify an investigation into an alleged breach of the code, as it appeared to be based only on "numerous allegations" that had mostly been made by the media, and the "contents of a draft charge sheet in a criminal matter".

Many of the allegations appeared not to have been substantiated and proven to date, while some were still being investigated by, among others, Parliament's committee on ethics and members' interests, he said.

"It will therefore be possible to determine whether or not the code has been breached only once it has been established whether Mr Zuma received certain gifts or had an interest in the matters in question.

"As soon as tangible and reliable information becomes available from the investigations and litigation currently underway, or otherwise, I will be in a position to consider whether sufficient particulars are available to justify further investigation," Mushwana said.

In his request to Mushwana for an investigation, Gibson said the charge sheet against Zuma's financial advisor, businessman Schabir Shaik, alleged the deputy president benefited from his association with Shaik.

"There have been numerous allegations concerning the deputy president's lifestyle and further allegations that his expenditure far exceeds his income.

"This must have been financed by some means and it is important to determine whether those means were declared," Gibson said.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Independent Online.