South African Police Unit to Consider Gupta Corruption Probe

  • Corruption charges brought by Democratic Alliance Party
  • Deputy finance minister said Guptas offered him top job

A special South African police unit known as the Hawks said it’s deciding whether to investigate corruption charges against members the Gupta family, who’re friends of President Jacob Zuma and are in business with his son, following a formal request by the opposition Democratic Alliance party.

The unit received the party’s complaint on Tuesday, Hawks spokesman Major Robert Netshiunda said by phone on Wednesday, declining to give further details. The DA brought charges of corruption against three Gupta brothers and Zuma’s son Duduzane, the party’s leader Mmusi Maimane said.

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas last week accused the Guptas of personally offering him the job of taking over the finance ministry, the latest in a series of embarrassing allegations linked to Zuma that have led opponents and allies alike to question his relationship with the Indian family, which has built up a business empire ranging from computers and media to uranium mining.

South Africa’s graft ombudsman Thuli Madonsela plans to investigate whether Zuma breached the Executive Members Ethics Act through his relationship with the Gupta family, its spokeswoman said on Tuesday, two days after the ruling African National Congress said it was starting its own probe.

South Africa’s main banking group said on Wednesday that interference in the government by private groups is threatening the nation’s constitutional democracy.

Jonas’s claims triggered several senior ANC members to make similar allegations about the Gupta family’s attempts to unduly influence the state. They prompted ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe to warn that South Africa is slipping into a “mafia state.” The Gupta family has denied the accusations.

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