By Pieter du Toit
The ANC remained quiet yesterday when, for the umpteenth time since he became head of state, shocking allegations of irregularities and abuses of power were made against President Jacob Zuma.
Investigative journalist Jacques Pauw’s bombshell book “The President’s Keepers” — from which HuffPost SA publishes an extract on Monday — details how the ANC’s leader has allegedly evaded his tax responsibilities for fear of being found out as a kept president.
Pauw reveals how Zuma seemingly refused to get his tax affairs in order, how he was on the payroll of benefactor Roy Moodley’s security company for four months after he was elected president (earning R1-million per month) and how he has manipulated the intelligence services, the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority and how he neutered the SA Revenue Service (Sars), his biggest threat.
Extracts from Pauw’s book was published in the Sunday Times.
The ANC has for many years refused to act against its leader, who rules party and Cabinet with an iron fist.
It was unable to constrain him when he blatantly tried to engineer the coup of National Treasury in December 2015, neglected to act in the national interest after the Constitutional Court’s Nkandla judgment in March 2016, put the party’s fortunes on the back-burner after the disastrous municipal elections in August 2015, supported him in November 2016 when the public protector prised open the decrepit depths of state capture and left him alone when he helped rent-seekers scale Treasury’s battlements in March 2017.
Pauw’s book also reveals startling detail of how Duduzane Zuma, Zuma’s favourite son and the Gupta family’s business partner, allegedly drove KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head General Johan Booysen to the Guptas’ estate in Saxonwold in a black Rolls-Royce, where Tony Gupta made overtures to the policeman. This was shortly before he was to be interviewed for the Hawks’ top job. Booysen asked to leave before any firm commitment was made to him. He didn’t get the job and recounted the event in an affidavit that he sent to the acting head of the Hawks, General Yolisa Matakata.
Zuma is one of the world’s best-paid heads of state, Pauw writes, earning more than the heads of state in Russia, Brazil and Japan: R2.75-million annually or about R230,000 per month. But still, he seems unable to manage his financial affairs, with the taxpayer forking out millions of rands to support his extended family with support services such as vehicles and security. His financial ineptitude has opened him to manipulation, and Pauw sketches the many benefactors in detail.
The ring of steel carefully erected around Zuma over the better part of the last decade has become powerful and impervious to scrutiny. Pauw warns there is a “very real possibility that they will attempt to rig, steal and influence both the ANC’s national conference and the general election”.
It seems that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Zuma’s former wife and member of Parliament who hopes to succeed him in less than eight weeks’ time, has also been dragged into the network of patronage with Pauw’s book alleging that her campaign has received donations (cash and otherwise) from “self-confessed [tobacco] smuggler” Adriano Mazzotti. He reports that Dlamini-Zuma even visited Mazzotti’s company, Carnilinx, in June of this year where he donated paraphernalia for her campaign. Machinations around Carnilinx were central to the demise of Sars’ investigation capabilities between 2014 and 2016.
The presidency rose to Zuma’s defence on Sunday, saying his tax affairs are in order. But saying nothing about the other serious allegations, notably that Zuma was a salaried employee of Moodley’s while he was president.
The ANC Women’s League issued a breathless statement in defence of Dlamini-Zuma on Saturday night and the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) released a hysterical statement on Sunday, with Carl Niehaus decrying Pauw’s revelations as “fake news”.
The ANC remained quiet. It said nothing. And it heard nothing. The party’s national working committee will on Monday meet at Luthuli House, as per usual, before Zuma will resume government duties on Tuesday. Government duties in service of one man: himself.
Pieter du Toit is Editor-in-Chief, HuffPost South Africa. This article originally appeared on HuffPost.