Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: REUTERS
Deputy President David Mabuza. Picture: REUTERS

Deputy President David Mabuza says he is prepared to prove his innocence in court and subject himself to a lifestyle audit following accusations of corruption and murder.

A recent New York Times article detailed Mabuza’s alleged corruption and dodgy deals, which propelled him to the second most powerful office in SA. The article set out Mabuza’s chequered history with claims of cash being siphoned from schools for his personal benefit.

During a heated question and answer session in parliament on Thursday, various opposition MPs grilled Mabuza on the allegations levelled against him.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen asked Mabuza whether he would "commit today to be the first to undergo a lifestyle audit". Mabuza said he is prepared to subject himself to the laws of the country.

"I will subject myself at whatever point. There have been allegations of murder and corruption against me ... but I am still here and I am still waiting for someone to open a case against me. I think in this house I am responding for the third time. I am saying ‘please if you have evidence approach any institution, let me be held accountable’," said Mabuza.

"The very fact that I am holding public office means I have nothing to hide," he said.

Mabuza said President Cyril Ramaphosa had established a technical team under the leadership of the director-general in the presidency to look into lifestyle audits for government officials which include law enforcement and taxation services. The procedure will be finalised at a meeting scheduled to take place in September.

In July, public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan said declarations of financial interest made by key parastatal officials from 2009 will form the basis of their lifestyle audits.

Steven Powell, a director and head of forensic services at law firm ENSafrica, believes that the government is "clearly taking lifestyle audits more seriously" and using them to hold people accountable and as a deterrent.

Forensic auditors examine excessive lifestyles and try to match income with ownership of properties or motor vehicles.

phakathib@businesslive.co.za