Zuma to face tough questions on Nkandla loan, Cabinet Wars and downgrade

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

Even after finally settling his Nkandla bill on Monday, President Jacob Zuma is expected to face a barrage of tough questions when he appears before the National Assembly on Tuesday afternoon.

Opposition parties want him to reveal to Parliament the full details about the VBS Mutual Bank loan that he used to pay R7 814 155 to the South African Reserve Bank, as ordered by the Constitutional Court of South Africa, in respect of non-security upgrades to his private homestead at Nkandla, which began shortly after his inauguration as President in 2009.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday announced that he plans to ask the President "what plan of action does the Government have in place to avoid such an occurrence and to ensure that the poor are not adversely affected, that jobs are created and that investors still see South Africa as a safe, desirable investment destination?”

"Further to this question, I will be asking President Zuma to explain and clarify his questionable new role at the helm of our crippled State-Owned Entities (SOEs) – as he now chairs the Presidential State-Owned Companies Coordinating Council – which has extensive power over the day-to-day running of our SOEs," Maimane continued.

The DA leader said that President Zuma is known to evade accountability during his parliamentary question and answer sessions.

"[Tuesday'] session is not the occasion for him to repeat that behaviour. He should make a clear statement on the Cabinet Wars, and how he plans to end the impasse and get the government focussed on avoiding the downgrade.

"South Africans will be watching [the] session for answers on how President Zuma plans to pull his government together between now and December, end the war in the cabinet, and stave off a downgrade," Maimane added.

"Central to changing perceptions and improving confidence in our economy is ending the war between the Presidency and the Treasury. Stability and policy coherence at the highest levels of Government are necessary for building a growing and an inclusive economy.

"Politics aside, we can all agree that the current Cabinet Wars are harming the economy, and are causing more disinvestment and unemployment. This will only accelerate if we are downgraded in December. The time for laughing in the face of serious questions is over; the stakes for the country are far too high."