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S.Africa Zuma probe finds alleged criminal activity


11-03-2016 05:49 BJT

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CAPE TOWN, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- The long-awaited report into improper and unethical relations between President Jacob Zuma and the Indian Gupta family was released on Wednesday.

This came after Zuma withdrew an application at the High Court in Pretoria to stop the release of the report compiled by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

The report provides evidence on how the Gupta family may have influenced appointment of cabinet ministers and several board directors at state-owned enterprises, including Eskom, Denel, South Africa Aiways (SAA) and Transnet.

The 355-page report nails Zuma, his son Duduzane, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen and Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane, amongst others.

Van Rooyen and Zwane were appointed in 2015 as a result of undue influence by the Guptas, according to the report.

Earlier on Wednesday, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that the report must be released to the public by 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Guptas, along with Zuma, have came under fire after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor said early this year that they were offered cabinet positions by the Guptas.

Madonsela had been expected to release the report on October 14, her last day in office, but it was put under lock and key in Parliament after Zuma indicated his intention to apply for the interdict.

Madonsela has recommended that Zuma institutes a commission of inquiry into the findings of corruption in her "state capture" report.

She has further submitted notice to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate those implicated of criminal wrongdoing.

In the report, Madonsela expresses concerns about the Gupta family's involvement in the removal of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene late last year.

Zuma sacked Nene on December 9, 2015 in a move that sent the rand crashing and markets tumbling.

Zuma replaced Nene with van Rooyen. But days later, Zuma dropped van Rooyen and instead hired then Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan as Finance Minister.

Madonsela said Zuma was required to select and appoint ministers lawfully and in compliance with the executive ethics code.

Zuma will give consideration to the contents of the report into "state capture" allegations, the Presidency said as the report was released.

By doing so, the president will ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge, the Presidency said in a statement.

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