THAT President Jacob Zuma has failed to declare his financial interests is of grave concern. It sends a strong signal from the top is that transparency is no longer necessary in financial dealings.
This as the financial affairs of Julius Malema continue to attract attention.
Yesterday City Press reported that Malema had failed to file tax returns and that his companies had not been issued with tax clearance certificates which are necessary to tender for government business. Despite this the companies were awarded contracts.
Zuma’s stand on the need for impeccable financial dealings is well known. He has publicly stated that he sees nothing wrong in a politician receiving a “loan” from a friend, even one involved in a company tendering for government business.
The claim, made by Schabir Shaik in his trial that the payments to Zuma were loans was questioned by Judge Hillary Squires, who presided over his trial.
He said: “Even after Zuma became executive deputy president and leader of government business in Parliament, with an annual remuneration … of some R850 000 from his two offices, Shaik still continued to make these payments, when there can have been no possible reason to do so, whether they were regarded as loans or friendly payments to help a deserving comrade whose work was inadequately rewarded.”
Then there is the fact that one of Zuma’s wives is staying in accommodation “donated” by a businessman.
The question is: Who will stop the rot? The Scorpions have conveniently disappeared, Parliament’s public accounts committee has had its teeth pulled and any number of senior politicians, after casting an eye over their own ledgers, are prepared to publicly defend this sorry state of affairs.
Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi appears to be the only person of any standing prepared to take this mess on, but does he have the clout to make a difference?
When the ANC came into power I gave them 20 years to destroy the country. I’m going to have to eat my words – they are going to do it in 15!