President Jacob Zuma has assured his cabinet that he has no plans to relocate to Dubai.
This is according to communications minister Ayando Dlodlo‚ who told journalists on Thursday morning that damaging leaked emails came up during a cabinet meeting this week in Cape Town.
Dlodlo said while Zuma touched on the emails during the two-day fortnightly meeting‚ cabinet did not dwell on the veracity of the correspondence‚ which appeared to show the influence of the Gupta family on government ministers.
“President Zuma has rebutted the allegation that was published by a Sunday newspaper that he owns a house in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates‚” said Dlodlo.
She said cabinet had asked anybody with evidence of wrongdoing on the part of its members or senior government officials to forward such information to law enforcement agencies.
“It is aware that some cases have already been opened‚ and the police are undertaking the necessary investigations. All who are affected by the emails are urged to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies‚” said Dlodlo.
Regarding her being personally implicated in the leaked Gupta emails – which revealed that the controversial family sponsored her stay at a luxury Dubai hotel in 2015 – Dlodlo admitted that she had failed to declare the benefit to parliament‚ as required by the ethics code of conduct for MPs.
But Dlodlo has denied allegations by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor that she had accepted an offer from a French nuclear company to fly her first class to watch the French Open tennis tournament in Paris.
She said her lawyers were dealing with Mentor’s allegations and she would explain herself before the parliamentary ethics committee following a complaint by the Democratic Alliance.
“On my personal benefits‚ on the French Open and shopping spree in Paris‚ I think the person that alleges has the responsibility to provide proof. Safe to say that I have handed this over to my lawyers and it’s something that will have to take its course. And‚ quite apart from that‚ it’s already sent to the ethics committee to deal with. That person who alleges this will have to prove that it actually happened.
“On the other one for Dubai‚ that is true. I did not declare that benefit of accommodation‚ but the accommodation did not go with all of the other things that are alleged. But I will deal with that when I get to the ethics committee‚” said Dlodlo.
She said people should judge her on the basis of her performance as a government minister.
“When there is wrongdoing‚ I admit to wrongdoing and I will stand by whatever it is that is meted out at whatever forum‚” said Dlodlo.