CAPE TOWN, June 4 (AxadleTM) — The South African Presidency on Sunday denied allegations that President Jacob Zuma owns a palace in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
The story by the Sunday Times newspaper about Zuma owning a palace in Dubai “is a fabrication”, presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said in a statement.
“President Zuma does not own any property outside South Africa and has not requested anybody to buy property for him abroad,” Ngqulunga said.
The Sunday Times said its reporters had made an investigative trip to Dubai last year, during which several independent sources told the newspaper that the Indian Gupta family had bought Zuma the house worth 330 million rand (about 25.8 million US dollars).
The newspaper also based the report on leaked e-mails that were believed to originate from the Guptas, who allegedly keeps close ties with Zuma.
The alleged Gupta emails disclose that Zuma would leave South Africa to live in Dubai after retirement.
Zuma has denied any plans to leave South Africa, and has said that he will be settling down in his Nkandla home, KwaZulu-Natal Province, when he retires.
In response to the Gupta emails, Ngqulunga said Zuma “has also not received or seen the reported emails and has no knowledge of them”.
Zuma has been accused of allowing the Guptas to exert undue influence in the appointment of cabinet ministers and the awarding of lucrative contracts with state-owned companies, a charge that has been denied by both Zuma and the Guptas.