South African cops raid Zuma’s close al­lies Gup­tas

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SOUTH African po­lice have raided the res­i­den­tial com­pound of a wealthy busi­ness fam­ily de­scribed as some of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s clos­est al­lies.

The Gupta broth­ers — Ajay and Atul — are ac­cused of play­ing a cen­tral role in al­leged cor­rup­tion un­der Zuma and us­ing their ties to the pres­i­dent to in­flu­ence cabi­net ap­point­ments and land state con­tracts for their busi­nesses

Agents from the Hawks, an elite po­lice in­ves­tiga­tive unit, en­tered the Gupta fam­ily com­pound in Sax­on­wold, a neigh­bour­hood in Jo­han­nes­burg on Wed­nes­day.

The early-morn­ing raid re­sulted in three ar­rest, at least one of whom are a Gupta fam­ily mem­ber, the South African state broad­caster re­ports.

Po­lice also raided the Gup­tas’ Oak­bay hold­ing com­pany in Jo­han­nes­burg's Sand­ton fi­nan­cial district, ac­cord­ing to a se­cu­rity guard out­side the build­ing.

It marks a dra­matic es­ca­la­tion in the pres­sure on Zuma and the po­lit­i­cal fac­tion around him ac­cused of milk­ing state re­sources for their own ends. Zuma was or­dered to step down by the rul­ing African Na­tional Congress (ANC) on Tues­day, but no firm dead­line has been given and, it re­mains un­clear whether the 75-year-old will throw in the towel, or dig in deeper. The ANC an­nounced that the party is now pre­par­ing for a no-con­fi­dence mo­tion against Zuma on Thurs­day.

Fi­nance min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba said Zuma would speak, and satel­lite trucks were in po­si­tion at Pre­to­ria’s Union Build­ings, the seat of the coun­try’s gov­ern­ment. Zuma’s of­fice how­ever, said there was no “of­fi­cial com­mu­ni­ca­tion” of any im­pend­ing ad­dress but urged me­dia to wait. Both Pres­i­dent Zuma and the Gup­tas, who are so close their re­la­tion­ship has its own

The duo is ac­cused of ‘graft’ un­der the prez

port­man­teau; “Zupta”, deny any wrong­do­ing.

Be­sides Ajay and Atul, the fam­ily is also headed by their mil­lion­aire In­dian-born brother Ra­jesh ‘Tony’ Gupta who ar­rived in South Africa in the early 90s, shortly af­ter the end of apartheid. They set up tech com­pany Sa­hara Com­put­ers, and their com­mer­cial em­pire now stretches from min­ing to me­dia.

PHO­TOS: REUTERS

(Ex­treme left) Po­lice near the home of (left) Ajay Gupta and Atul Gupta, friends of Ja­cob Zuma (above), in Jo­han­nes­burg on Wed­nes­day.

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