Zuma says removal move unfair as Gupta family member held
NOOSE TIGHTENS Police expected to arrest up to seven more people that would include more from Gupta family
South Africa’s ANC unveiled plans on Wednesday to sack President Jacob Zuma via a parliamentary no-confidence vote, hours after armed police raided the luxury home of his friends, the Gupta brothers, as part of an anti-corruption investigation.
In his first response to an avalanche of pressure from the African National Congress (ANC) for him to quit, Zuma - who has been dogged by scandal throughout his political life - proclaimed his innocence and said he was being “victimised” by Nelson Mandela’s former liberation movement. “There’s nothing I’ve done wrong,” a relaxed but indignant Zuma said during a nearly hourlong interview with the SABC, South Africa’s state broadcaster. “I don’t think it’s fair. I think it’s unfair.”
When asked point-blank if would step aside, he avoided the question and continued to allege a lack of principle in moves by the party’s National Executive Committee to oust him.
He did not comment on the police raids, which marked a dramatic tightening of the net around the 75-year-old and the political faction around him accused of milking state resources for their own ends.
Even if he refuses to quit, with the ANC backing an oppositionled no-confidence motion on Thursday, Zuma appears to have run out of road after nine years in office marked by political tumult 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 told a news conference in Cape Town.
The rand, which has gained ground whenever Zuma has hit political turbulence, soared more than one percent to a 2-1/2 year high of 11.79 against the dollar.
The speed of Zuma’s demise after two weeks of dithering by the ANC has stunned South Africa. The early morning raid, which the police’s elite Hawks unit said resulted in three arrests, took place amid reports Zuma was preparing to tell the country he was stepping down
The SABC, South Africa’s state broadcaster, said a Gupta family member was among those detained. A senior judicial source said police expected to arrest up to seven more people and that Gupta family members would be among them.
Atul Gupta Ajay Gupta Rajesh Gupta 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
Atul Gupta said BONGI NGEMA-ZUMA one of Zuma's wives, worked for Guptacontrolled mines DUDUZILE ZUMA his daughter, was a director at Sahara Computers DUDUZANE ZUMA his son, was a director of some Gupta-owned companies with The Guptas have had all their accounts a number of banks closed due to alleged dubious business dealings. would The family has announced that they
African "exit our shareholding of the South our businesses which we believe will benefit existing employees" family This has led to speculation that the may relocate to another country