Publication: Sapa Issued: Parliament Date: 2004-10-22 Reporter: Sapa

DA to Pose Questions on Possible Zuma Lies and Legal Fees






Date 2004-10-22




If evidence given at Schabir Shaik's trial in Durban is correct, it appears Deputy President Jacob Zuma may have lied to Parliament on two occasions, the Democratic Alliance said on Friday.

In 2003, Zuma claimed to Parliament's ethics committee that payments he received via Shaik were only loans.

However a KPMG forensic audit report submitted at the trial contradicted Zuma's version, DA finance spokeswoman Raenette Taljaard and her justice counterpart Sheila Camerer said in a joint statement.

In addition, Zuma's response in the National Assembly to a question by the DA on whether he met with French arms company executive Alain Thethard in South Africa on March 11, 2000 or any other specified date, was: "I did not meet Alain Thethard on March 11, 2000 in Durban or anywhere else in South Africa".

However Shaik's lawyer had indicated his client would testify that Zuma did meet with Thethard in South Africa on March 10, 2000, they said.

"The deputy president was therefore deliberately evasive in his answer, attempting to prevent Parliament from scrutinising his involvement in the corruption case."

No politician could survive lying to Parliament. Zuma should be mindful of the case of former minister Connie Mulder, at the time heir apparent of National Party leader John Vorster. He was caught lying to Parliament and was obliged to resign.

"The DA will keep a careful watch on the case in this regard. We will also submit parliamentary questions to the deputy president on whether he would like to reconsider his reply on the Thethard meeting, and the claims he made to the ethics committee concerning his 'loans'," they said.

The DA was also not convinced there was a case for Zuma to have his legal representation through the Shaik trial funded with taxpayers' money.

"We will therefore submit additional parliamentary questions to the presidency on whether his application for funding has been approved, what motivation has given in the application for taxpayers' money to be used for Zuma's personal expenses, who has taken or will take the decision on providing the funding, and how much is or will be budgeted," Taljaard and Camerer said.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.