Home / NEWS / South Africa’s Jacob Zuma says efforts to oust him ‘very unfair’, after police raid Gupta family house in Johannesburg

South Africa’s Jacob Zuma says efforts to oust him ‘very unfair’, after police raid Gupta family house in Johannesburg

Jacob Zuma broke his silence on Wednesday to say that efforts to oust him were “very unfair”, hours after police raided the home of a business family suspected of using its ties to the South African President to influence Cabinet appointments and land state contracts.

“It was very unfair to me that this issue is raised,” he said in an unannounced live TV interview on SABC shortly after midday, UK time. “Nobody has ever provided the reasons. Nobody is saying what I have done.”

The nation is awaiting word on whether Mr Zuma will obey his party’s order to leave office.

Mr Zuma said the ruling African National Congress had not followed party procedures in trying to unseat him. “I need to be furnished on what I’ve done,” Mr Zuma said. “What is this hurry?”

Mr Zuma also claimed that he agreed last week with Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC party president who is expected to replace him as South Africa’s leader, on a delayed resignation.

Earlier, the ANC said it would support a motion of no-confidence in him brought by an opposition party on Thursday if he does not resign beforehand. 

President Jacob Zuma leaves Tuynhuys, the office of the Presidency at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 7, 2018

Credit:
Sumaya Hisham
Source: REUTERS

The party’s chief whip Jackson Mthembu added that the ANC hoped to elect party leader Cyril Ramaphosa as president of the country on Thursday, after the no-confidence vote, or on Friday.

On Wednesday morning Police raided the Johannesburg home of a business family accused of overseeing government corruption under his rule.

The early morning raid, which the police’s elite Hawks unit said resulted in three arrests related to a  probe into allegations that members of the Gupta family used their links with the president to win state contracts and influence Cabinet appointments.

An press conference with Mr Zuma, scheduled for 8am GMT, appeared to have been cancelled on Wednesday morning. Mr Zuma’s office said there was no “official communication” of any impending address but urged media to wait.

The raid on the Gupta’s compound marks a dramatic escalation in the pressure on Zuma and the political faction around him accused of milking state resources for their own ends.

A dozen officers from the elite Hawks police unit sealed off a street leading to the Gupta home in Johannesburg’s upscale Saxonwold suburb. One officer blocked access to Reuters, saying: “This is a crime scene.”

Mr Zuma and the Guptas – a family of wealthy Indian-born businessmen – deny any wrongdoing.

A lawyer for the Gupta family said he could not comment on the raid because he had yet to see the search warrant.

Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi said the raid was part of an investigation into allegations of influence peddling in the government. The allegations are also the subject of a judicial inquiry on wider corruption.

“We’re viewing this investigation in a very serious light. We’re not playing around in terms of making sure that those who are responsible in the so-called state capture, they take responsibility for it,” Mulaudzi said.

Private security personnel man the gate to the compound of the controversial business family the Guptas in Johannesburg while cars belonging to the the Hawks, The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, are stationed outside, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on February 14, 2018

Credit:
AFP

He declined to give details of what was seized or if the business premises of the Guptas would also be raided, saying a full statement would be released later on Wednesday.

Mr Zuma was expected to respond on Wednesday morning to an order from the ANC to resign as head of state, party officials said.

The ANC said on Tuesday it had decided to “recall” Mr Zuma, a euphemism for removing him from office, but gave him no firm deadline to resign, setting the stage for a potential fight to wrest him from power.

Police close off roads around the home of the Gupta family

Credit:
 REUTERS 

ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule said the party’s national executive was split on when Mr Zuma should step down, although the party expected him to respond to the order by Wednesday.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told CNN late on Tuesday Mr Zuma was expected to address the nation on Wednesday morning. However, by midday, Mr Zuma had not appeared.

Mr Zuma’s spokesman could not be reached for comment and there was no official confirmation from the presidency that an address would take place.

A patrol car belonging to the Hawks, The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, is seen outside the compound of the controversial business family Gupta in Johannesburg

Credit:
 WIKUS DE WET/AFP

ANC spokesman Pule Mabe told state broadcaster SABC that Mr Zuma remained “a disciplined member of the ANC and would do what is best for a cadre of the movement”.

Mr Zuma is already facing a no-confidence motion in parliament, brought by the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters and set for Feb. 22.

The ANC could throw its weight behind such a vote if Mr Zuma, who has survived several no-confidence motions in the past, refused to resign. The entire Cabinet would have to step down if such a vote went through.

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/14/south-african-police-raid-gupta-house-jacob-zuma-expected-respond/

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