South African president Jacob Zuma was drilled at a parliamentary session on Thursday and one of his remarkable shortcomings was a decision to avoid giving answers to a question about how much he has invested as legal fees since charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering were dropped.
Opposition party members from the Democratic Alliance (DA) observed a walkout on the president.
President Jacob Zuma (Source: The Sun)
In his response, Zuma said the law stipulates that his government should offset any bills he incurred if sued by the opposition party but remained mum over how much he has “wasted” as legal defense fees in the past eight years.
The court ruled his defiance as irrational.
Media reports confirm the battle royal in Parliament started when DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who was on ground for questions, said he wouldn’t ask any further since the president hadn’t given answers on the main subject.
“I am answering the question because the answer gives an impression I am running to courts and spending a lot of money – I’m saying I have been defending what the political party [DA] has been doing in terms of taking me to court,” Zuma explained, according to a report from Eye Witness News (EWN).
“I’ve answered the question, if the honorable member is not satisfied, I’ve answered the question,” Zuma added, after the DA leader threatened that Mr. President would certainly go to jail for misappropriation of government funds.
“Deputy speaker, this is completely unacceptable. He has not answered the question… I’ll say this one thing: he may be in government now, but he is going to jail. I can assure you he is going to jail. The president is going to jail…” Maimane was quoted as saying.
The incumbent president later explained to House that the State settled the bills and he never asked to know the actual amount.