Edward Zuma, President Jacob Zuma's son, allegedly received monthly payments from a Pietermaritzburg businessman in exchange for political influence.
Durban - Journalist Jacques Pauw says he is willing to co-operate with a “credible” prosecutor from the National Prosecuting Authority, including discussing the “devastating evidence” he has on Pietermaritzburg tobacco manufacturer Yusuf Kajee’s alleged payments to Edward Zuma and an alleged Durban gangster.

Pauw’s new book, The President’s Keeper, claims, among other things, that suspected tobacco smugglers paid tens of thousands of rand every month for several years to President Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, for his political influence.

Kajee on Tuesday denied making any payments to Edward Zuma and the alleged gangster and accused Pauw of deliberately approaching him for comment on a story “at the last minute” and not approaching him to comment on the claims made in the book.

Read: Zuma's tax affairs are in order, insists Presidency

The two exchanged heated WhatsApp messages over the weekend.

“I spoke to Kajee in 2014. As far as the payments to Edward Zuma and (alleged gangster), I’ve got devastating evidence. As far as giving him an opportunity to comment, he had ample time,” said Pauw.

An e-mail with questions was sent to Kajee on Friday, October 27, at 12.30pm for comment on an article that appeared in a Sunday newspaper. Kajee said he was attending Friday prayers and did not immediately see the correspondence.

Among the questions posed by Pauw to Kajee, the journalist asked about a September 2010 cash payment to Edward Zuma and an “instalment for R10 095.49 for a Mercedes CLK 500. In the following month, Edward Zuma was paid R60 000 in cash.” Kajee has denied making any payments.

Asked if he had been approached to share the information at his disposal with law-enforcement agencies, Pauw, a veteran journalist, said he was hesitant to hand over documents and expose his sources to the NPA.

“If a credible prosecutor comes to me I will try to help the NPA. When I wrote the book I spoke to very credible people in law-enforcement agencies,” Pauw said.

“There is so much evidence available but they (Hawks and the NPA) are not doing anything about it,” he said.

Pauw’s book claims President Zuma received R1 million a month from a security company without declaring it to the SA Revenue Service (Sars), among other things. It also alleges that President Zuma did not submit tax returns from 2009 until 2014, despite former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay urging him to.

The Presidency has issued a statement saying the president has declared to the relevant authorities all income received and “allegations contained in the reports are misleading and clearly part of the ongoing smear campaigns.

‘’The tax matters of the president are in order The president has also not received any information related to taxes linked to the Nkandla upgrades.’’

Pauw said people must look at the president’s denial and decide for themselves whether he is tax compliant or not.

“This is a very weak denial. The president did not submit tax returns for the first five years of his presidency.”

Edward Zuma could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

The Mercury