Zuma calls re­moval bid un­fair as cops raid Gupta fam­ily home

NOOSE TIGHTENS Three peo­ple held, up to seven more likely to be ar­rested in­clud­ing some Gupta fam­ily mem­bers

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - INDIAUNSEEN - Agen­cies let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

JO­HAN­NES­BURG: South Africa’s rul­ing party ANC on Wed­nes­day un­veiled plans to sack Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma via a par­lia­men­tary no-con­fi­dence vote, hours af­ter armed po­lice raided the lux­ury home of his In­dian-ori­gin friends, the Gupta brothers.

Zuma fought back against the or­der from the African Na­tional Congress to im­me­di­ately re­sign over cor­rup­tion, say­ing he had been un­fairly treated and was given no rea­son for quit­ting.

Lo­cal me­dia re­ported that Ajay Gupta, the el­dest of the Gupta brothers, and one or two of the fam­ily’s as­so­ciates were of­fi­cially un­der ar­rest af­ter the early morn­ing raid in which the po­lice’s elite Hawks unit took part. But a lawyer de­nied this

“The me­dia has got it wrong. None of the Gupta brothers have been ar­rested. I can’t tell you who has been ar­rested,” the lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the fam­ily told Reuters. City Press news­pa­per re­ported that Ajay Gupta has been ar­rested, adding that author­i­ties were hunt­ing for Zuma’s son, Duduzane. It also said that Atul Gupta was in talks with the Hawks to hand him­self over.

The early morn­ing raid marked a dra­matic es­ca­la­tion in the pres­sure on Zuma and the po­lit­i­cal fac­tion around him ac­cused of milk­ing state re­sources for their own ends. Zuma, 75, de­nies any wrong­do­ing.

With the ANC back­ing an op­po­si­tion-led no-con­fi­dence mo­tion likely to be heard on Thurs­day, Zuma ap­pears to have run out of fuel af­ter nine years in of­fice dogged by scan­dal and eco­nomic stag­na­tion.

ANC chief whip Jack­son Mthembu said deputy pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa, whose elec­tion as head of the ANC in De­cem­ber marked the be­gin­ning of the end of Zuma’s ten­ure, could be sworn in as head of state as early as Fri­day. “Af­ter we have voted for the re­moval of the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic to­mor­row – and de­pend­ing on the avail­abil­ity of the Chief Jus­tice – we will also elect a new pres­i­dent,” Mthembu said.

The speed of Zuma’s down­fall af­ter two weeks of dither­ing by the ANC has stunned South Africa. In a ram­bling 45-minute in­ter­view on Wed­nes­day, Zuma did not di­rectly refuse to re­sign, but said he dis­agreed with “the man­ner in which the de­ci­sion is be­ing im­ple­mented.”

“It was very un­fair to me that this is­sue is raised,” he said. “No­body has ever pro­vided the rea­sons. No­body is say­ing what I have done.”

He re­peat­edly said he was not de­fy­ing the ANC lead­er­ship, but added that “I don’t agree, as there is no ev­i­dence of if I have done any­thing wrong.” Atul Gupta moved to Jo­han­nes­burg from Sa­ha­ran­pur, Ut­tar Pradesh, in 1993, set­ting up Sa­hara Com­put­ers. His brothers Ajay and Ra­jesh "Tony" soon fol­lowed him there

The brothers soon di­ver­si­fied into min­ing, en­gi­neer­ing and the me­dia

They are on no rich list but are ex­tremely wealthy — Sa­hara Com­put­ers has an an­nual turnover of 200 mil­lion rand ($22 mil­lion)

IN 2013: the Gup­tas trig­gered a po­lit­i­cal storm af­ter a fam­ily plane car­ry­ing 200 wed­ding guests landed at the Waterk­loof Air Base, Pre­to­ria, which is usu­ally re­served for vis­it­ing heads of state and diplo­matic del­e­ga­tions. From there, they were given a po­lice es­cort to the Sun City hol­i­day re­sort he was "sim­ply try­ing to give (o daugh­ter... a mem­o­rable wed­ding on Sou African soil", but both the rul­ing A and the op­posit Demo­cratic Al­lia a said this was a "bla­tant abuse ofo power" one of Zuma's wives, worked for Gup­ta­con­trolled mines his daugh­ter, was a di­rec­tor at Sa­hara Com­put­ers his son, was a di­rec­tor of some Gupta-owned com­pa­nies with The Gup­tas have had all their ac­counts anum­ber of banks closed due to al­leged du­bi­ous busi­ness deal­ings. would The fam­ily has an­nounced that they

African "exit our share­hold­ing of the South busi­nesses which we be­lieve will ben­e­fit our ex­ist­ing em­ploy­ees" fam­ily This has led to spec­u­la­tion that the may re­lo­cate to an­other coun­try

Atul Gupta said


Stormy Daniels




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