DA leader Mmusi Maimane Photo: INLSA

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance will ask the public protector to investigate President Jacob Zuma's family deals with government, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on Sunday.

"New evidence has emerged today [Sunday] indicating that President Jacob Zuma initiated and fostered several relationships between cabinet ministers  and his family members and relatives in order to secure government contracts and other financial benefits for himself and his family," Maimane said.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete had in her possession a sworn affidavit by former public service and administration department chief director Brent Simons claiming that Zuma had lied about assisting family members in making contact with cabinet ministers and securing government contracts. Mbete had to make the affidavit public, ensuring it appeared in Parliament's announcements, tablings, and committee reports (ATC) document.

Maimane said he would therefore write to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane requesting she launch an investigation into this matter.

"There now exists prima facie evidence of undue influence and unlawful enrichment which must be probed. Section 4(a)(iv) of the Public Protector Act empowers her to investigate allegations of 'improper or unlawful enrichment, or receipt of any improper advantage, or promise of such enrichment or advantage, by a person as a result of an act or omission in the public administration or in connection with the affairs of government at any level or of a person performing a public function'. This investigation should include a full audit of any dealings between government and members of the Zuma family – specifically Jacob Zuma’s children Duduzane, Khulubuse, and Mqondisi," he said.

Simons had stated under oath that he was present when Zuma had sent relatives to meet several cabinet ministers with the intention to discuss and secure business deals with government. This included threats against government officials. Simons claimed that these relationships afforded Zuma relatives a “direct, fraudulent, and unfair business advantage for the benefit of the president, his family, and friends at the expense of the public good”.

This new revelation added to the long and growing list of serious transgressions by Zuma which necessitated his removal from office, Maimane said.

"In Jacob Zuma, we have a president who has no regard for the law. He is focused solely on enriching himself and those closest to him, while millions of South Africans are still trapped in poverty and unemployment.

"This coming Tuesday, Parliament will have an opportunity to remove Jacob Zuma from office. We believe this is the first step to moving South Africa forward again. Secret ballot or no secret ballot, the DA will be voting to fire Jacob Zuma in Tuesday’s motion of no confidence," Maimane said.