14 Feb 2018
The Hawks, South Africa’s special police unit, landed at a home reported to belong to the Gupta family on Wednesday morning in what is considered to be part of a probe into corruption allegations linked to President Jacob Zuma.
The Guptas have featured prominently in a number of scandals, and are alleged to have wielded strong influence over the public and private sectors because of their association with Zuma.
Zuma and the Guptas have denied the allegations against them. Attempts to reach the Gupta family were unsuccessful.
A South African Police statement said: “The Hawks’ Serious Corruption Crime Unit is currently conducting on-going operations at various addresses in Gauteng, including a residential premises in Saxonwold near Johannesburg.
“The operation is in respect of the Vrede Farm investigations. So far three people have been arrested and two other suspects are expected to hand themselves over to the Hawks. Operations are still ongoing and further details will be made available at a later stage.”
The Vrede Farm investigations relates to a project which was originally meant to help poor black farmers but the Gupta family allegedly pocked millions from it, according to the BBC, which also said local people expressed satisfaction about the police arrests.
The police development comes a day after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) issued a statement recalling Zuma from his position as President.
The document was issued after ‘intense meetings’ with Zuma in which the party is understood to have asked him to step down from power.
Zuma agreed in principle to resign, but proposed time frames extending from three to six months.
However, the party’s national executive council (NEC) felt that the matter was “urgent” and indicated he should leave immediately.
“The National Executive Committee firmly believes that this situation requires us to act with urgency in order to steer our country towards greater levels of unity, renewal and hope,” the statement said.
It added that “all necessary parliamentary processes that arise from this decision will now ensue.”
Advance your CPD minutes for reading this article, by signing up and using the CPD WalletFREE CPD Wallet