SABC News - Zuma says asking Guptas to leave SA is xenophobic:Friday 12 February 2016

Zuma says asking Gupta's to leave SA is xenophobic

Friday 12 February 2016 18:14

Bulelani Phillip

President Jacob Zuma suggested at the post-SONA breakfast in Cape Town that such sentiments are xenophobic.(SABC)

President Jacob Zuma has scorned at suggestions that the Gupta family must leave the country.

Addressing a post-SONA breakfast in Cape Town, he said that such sentiments are xenophobic. Feelings about the Gupta family's involvement in South Africa prompted loud scenes in Parliament last night.

It took the presiding officers a while to clear the Nation Assembly for the President to continue with his address.

The issue of his relationship with the Gupta family and their business empire, spilled over Friday.

Allegations that they are abusing this relationship to get State contracts and tenders, seems to bother the business sector too.

It was up to the Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to try and put it to rest.

“It must be at arm’s length. It must be based on proper corporate regulations. It must be based on principle and it must be based on proper governance procedures and that is what I think we should use as a litmus test. We should use that to judge whether things are being done properly or not and as for the President, he has explained and we accept that explanation,” says Ramaphosa.

The other matter hanging over the President is Nkandla. He says it should never have gone to the Constitutional Court, as he has never refused to pay.

The President says he was merely delayed by the determination of an amount.

Zuma says, “What I have been refusing to do is to pay back the money that I don't know how much it is - which is not in keeping with the recommendations of the Public Protector.”

The President offered to pay up shortly before the court hearing of the Economic Freedom Fighters and Democratic Alliance case.

He wants an amount determined by the Treasury and Auditor General.  

This was widely seen as a change of heart, something that the President dismisses.

He says, “All what we are saying let that process be dealt with by specific people with those expertise if the police report was not necessarily satisfying.”

Several events planned for the President and his deputy around the Peninsula today were cancelled at short notice.

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