President Zuma 'lied' about family aid

06 August 2017 - 00:00 By QAANITAH HUNTER

President Jacob Zuma lied when he told parliament he never asked anyone to assist his relatives to secure government contracts.
Brent Simons, a chief director in the Department of Public Service and Administration and an ANC member, made the revelation in an affidavit submitted to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete's office.
In the affidavit, Simons said he had been present when Zuma sent his relatives to cabinet ministers "with a clear instruction to help these family members secure contracts where possible".
Mbete's office confirmed in an e-mailed response that it had received the affidavit.
In it, Simons alleges that, when he worked in the office of the Minister in the Presidency in 2014 and later in the Department of Public Service and Administration, he had witnessed the president directing his relatives to the late Collins Chabane - who was minister of public service and administration at the time.Simons cited an event hosted by the National Youth Development Agency at which Zuma introduced his relatives to Chabane.
"Consequently, they were directed to me - with a clear instruction from my political principal to keep them away from the minister. The group was led by Mqondisi Zuma [a Zuma relative] and his brother," reads Simons's affidavit.
Zuma told parliament in June that he did not help his son Duduzane secure deals from the government.
"I have not heard that he has benefited his business from his involvement from government where Zuma has participated to say, 'Give him something.' I have never ... done that," Zuma said in response to a question by DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
Maimane had asked the president if Duduzane - who is in business with the Gupta family - had benefited from his proximity to his father.
Simons said Zuma lied to parliament.
He said that after Zuma had made the introduction with Mqondisi, he met the president's relatives, who were interested in pursuing government deals.
Clear objectives
"Their objective was clear - to secure funds and contracts from the National Youth Development Agency, the Government Communications and Information System and the Department of Public Service and Administration," Simons said.
He went on to list details of meetings and correspondence he had with Zuma's relatives following the introduction.
"At the end, I was accused by these Zuma family members of deliberately preventing them from meeting with the minister [Chabane].
"I also received verbal threats that I was going to be dealt with. At one stage they [Zuma's relatives] directly threatened to inform the president and Khulubuse Zuma of what they termed my delay tactics," said Simons.

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