Agang leader bragging about own fortune, challenges Zuma

Ramphele with the headgear that landed het the World Bank job
Ramphele with the headgear that landed her the World Bank job

Agang SA leader and ex-World Bank co-chair Mamphela Ramphele called on President Jacob Zuma to disclose his personal finances.

“I call upon President Zuma to publish his accounts immediately. What is there to hide?” she asked reporters in Johannesburg. “South Africans deserve a president that sets a good example for the rest of the country to follow.”

With each passing day suspicion about his integrity mounts.

“President Zuma has used a convenient technicality to sidestep this requirement. From his inauguration… the president has dodged the issue for over 1,565 days to date. With each passing day suspicion about his integrity mounts,” Ramphele said.

She said she was disclosing her own financial affairs for the country to scrutinise, in line with the need for accountability, and to set an example for Zuma.

Ramphele said her net worth as of June 27 this year was R55,436,063.

She had shares worth R1.38 million with Anglo American, Gold Fields, Sibanye Gold, and the PTI Select Managers Fund. Her primary residence in Camps Bay, Cape Town, was valued at R10m. A total of R1,146,139 was in retirement annuity and R1,574,064 in a provident fund. Her family trust held R30m and her investment trust R10.9m.

“My income for the tax year ending 28 February 2013, was R346,000 – a sizeable drop from previous years due to my resignation from all board commitments… ahead of my entrance into politics.”

Ramphele said her wealth would not distance her from South Africa’s poor.

“I am one of many leaders of this country, as with [former] president [Nelson] Mandela, who was not poor,” she said. “Being comfortable or having a measure of wealth is not a barrier to linking with poor people. What is a barrier is the abuse of power and stealing from poor people as this government has done consistently.”

President Jacob Zuma has responded to Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele’s call for him to disclose his personal finances.

In a statement from The Presidency on Wednesday evening, Zuma said his financial status had been recorded by the Secretary of Cabinet, according to stipulations made in the constitution.

“The Constitution of 1996 and the Executive Members Ethics Act, 1998, prescribe the nature, content and form in which members of the Cabinet and the Executive Councils disclose their financial interests annually. Members of the National Executive of Government submit their disclosures to the Secretary of Cabinet who maintains a register. The President therefore submits his disclosure annually to the Secretary of Cabinet,” the statement said. – Sapa