Publication: Issued: Date: 2003-09-11 Reporter: Donwald Pressly

Zuma Won't Quit Moral Regeneration Role



Date 2003-09-11


Donwald Pressly

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South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma told Parliament in no uncertain terms on Wednesday that he had not engaged "in any immoral activities" and would not relinquish his responsibilities in the moral regeneration movement.

He was replying to an oral question in the National Assembly from Federal Alliance MP Sakkie Blanche, who asked whether in light of the allegations of corruption - connected with South Africa's arms deal - against him, Zuma would relinquish his responsibilities for the moral regeneration campaign in South Africa.

Asked too if he had fulfilled his legal requirement in declaring all income, gifts and sponsorships to the Register of Members' Interests in Parliament, he said: "As far as I remember I have."

His words were: "Honourable member, my understanding is that a person has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this instance no one has been found guilty of anything. Allegations have been made and investigated.

"According to the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the Senior Counsel he consulted, I will not be prosecuted because they do not think there is a winnable case.

"As far as I am concerned, I know I have not engaged in any immoral activities and therefore do not see the need to relinquish my responsibilities in the moral regeneration movement."

His comments follow the decision by the National Director of Public Prosecutions not to charge him for alleged corruption although it was stated that there was prima facie evidence against him.

In the latest parliamentary Register of Members' Interests - issued on Wednesday - Zuma declares nothing under the shares and other financial interests section or any remuneration outside of parliament. He declared land and dwellings "under permission to occupy" in the Nhlola area, Nxamalala Tribal Authority, Nkandla, KwaZulu Natal - the subject of much public attention after allegedly receiving monies through his financial adviser Shabir Shaik to pay off loans.

Zuma declared the property interest in a letter to the Registrar of Members' Interests in March this year.

National Assembly Speaker Frene Ginwala said last week that she had referred information about Zuma from the national prosecuting authority to the joint committee. The committee met on Wednesday morning behind closed doors.

Although her statement did not spell the matter out, the Scorpions investigation unit opted not to prosecute Zuma for alleged corruption involving the multi-billion rand arms deal. The beleaguered deputy president stands accused of failing to declare loans received from Shaik and Durban businessman Vivian Reddy in the register.

With acknowledgements to Donwald Pressly and