President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday denied knowing anything about the Gupta family’s dealings, lying about paying a bond for his Nkandla homestead, and not respecting the judiciary.
“Lalelani la [listen], let me explain so that it’s clear,” he said during a question-and-answer session in the National Assembly.
“You must keep quiet and listen, so I don’t have to repeat myself,” he told MPs, before talking them through the history of the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
He vehemently denied lying about having a bond for his Nkandla home.
“So I’m telling you, and the people of SA, I never lied,” he said in response to a question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
He mentioned the amphitheatre, cattle kraal, chicken run, visitor’s centre, and the swimming pool, which the public protector had ordered him to pay for out of his own pocket.
At his mention of the word “swimming pool”, opposition MPs laughed and shouted “firepool”. This was the official name Police Minister Nathi Nhleko gave to the feature when arguing that it was one of the security features installed at Nkandla and that Zuma did not have to pay for it.
“Yebo! Firepool. Yes! Firepool!” said Zuma, with a slight chuckle.
When asked about the Gupta family, and their alleged irregular business dealings, he replied: “I know nothing about the business dealings of the Guptas and whoever. Why should I have a view? Why should I have a view about if it must be investigated or not?”
He was asked to explain his statement earlier in the year that judges convicted people even if they told the truth.
“I trust the judiciary. The ANC trusts the judiciary. I have full confidence in the judicial system of the country,” he insisted.
DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach asked Zuma whether he would apologise to the judiciary and if he would stop making such statements. She said he continued to undermine the judiciary.
“I don’t understand the question. I’ve just answered it. I don’t know what it is I must apologise to the chief justice about,” Zuma replied.