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S.Africa police raid house of Zuma’s allies in graft probe

FILE PHOTO: South African police

Johannesburg, South Africa | AFP | South African police Wednesday raided the Johannesburg home of the business family accused of overseeing government corruption under President Jacob Zuma, who has been ordered to resign by his party.

Zuma is expected to respond to the ANC party’s order later Wednesday, hours after police arrived at the Gupta family’s heavily protected house in the upmarket suburb of Saxonwold in the early morning.

“We have now left the compound. It is an operation that is ongoing related to issues of ‘state capture’,” police spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi told AFP referring to the alleged corruption of state institutions under Zuma’s reign.

The president, who could be ousted in a parliamentary vote of no confidence if he clings to office, has “agreed in principle to resign”, secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC) Ace Magashule said Tuesday.

The power struggle over Zuma’s departure has put him at loggerheads with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the new head of the party.

“Recalling” the head of state is a party-level instruction that the 75-year-old Zuma is under no constitutional obligation to obey.

– Zuma on the brink –

The ANC’s national executive committee reached the decision in the early hours of Tuesday after meeting for 13 hours at a hotel outside Pretoria.

A committee member confirmed to AFP that the president had asked for three more months in office, describing the request as “hogwash”.

Local media reported that scandal-tainted Zuma was pushing for an exit deal that included covering his potentially ruinous legal fees from prolonged court battles against multiple criminal charges.

One case relates to 783 payments he allegedly received linked to an arms deal before he came to power.

Many graft allegations against him have centred on the wealthy Gupta family, who are accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts and even being able to choose ministerial appointments.

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