Zuma’s son tried to release cash

An under-siege top cop has accused President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, of exerting pressure on him to release a R15-million payment that had been frozen because of an investigation into fraud suspect Thoshan Panday.

The meeting between KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen and Edward Zuma took place in June 2011 at the provincial police headquarters. Booysen and Zuma both confirmed the meeting but cited conflicting reasons.

Edward Zuma& said to want R15 million payment frozen over a probe of fraud suspect Thoshan Panday. Credit: Independent Newspapers

On Friday, Booysen confirmed Zuma had met him and that the meeting had lasted 20 minutes. He said at least two other independent people, whose names are known to the Sunday Tribune, were privy to the meeting. They have corroborated Booysen’s version but have asked not to be named.

Booysen said Zuma’s visit was well documented and his superiors were aware of the meeting. He said that prior to the meeting, Zuma had made at least three attempts to set up a meeting with him.

“He telephoned my office wanting to meet me in person. I was not available but he persisted. On the day we met, he arrived having earlier made an appointment with my secretary,” Booysen said.

He said he was at first informed that the “president’s brother” was at his offices. However, Booysen said that at the start of the meeting, the man introduced himself as Edward Zuma, the president’s son”.

Booysen recalled that Zuma had been wearing a striped shirt and had come alone.

“I had never met him before. He said he was there to elicit assistance for Thoshan Panday. Edward Zuma claimed he was a silent partner in Panday’s business and had invested R900 000. He said he wanted the R15m unfrozen because he was not getting his dividends from Panday because the money had been frozen.

“I refused, saying I would be party to corruption and would not go down that road. I also advised Edward to get his money out and take his business elsewhere.

“I subsequently reported the matter to my superior, Anwa Dramat. I drove up to Pretoria to discuss the matter with him. I also reported the matter to the acting police commissioner Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi when he was in Durban on March 5,” Booysen said. - Niyanta Singh