South African cops raid Zuma’s close allies Guptas
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.
(Extreme left) Police near the home of (left) Ajay Gupta and Atul Gupta, friends of Jacob Zuma (above), in Johannesburg on Wednesday.