South African President Jacob Zuma Faces New Corruption Charges

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South Africa national assembly opposition leader, Mmusi Maimane, filed corruption charges this week on November 15th against president Jacob Zuma at the Rosebank police station in Johannesburg. He demanded a criminal investigation be launched to review corruption charges against the sitting president. A new report referred to as “state capture” was released to the public outlines several corruption allegations president and his ministers since 2010. Maimane became the leader of the Democratic Alliance, South Africa major opposition party in parliament in May 2015.
State Capture report lays new corruption charges.
State Capture is a new hot political item in South Africa. The former public prosecutor, Thuli Madonsela, released a 355-page report detailing grafts charges against South African president and his appointed cabinet ministers. Thuli Madonsela’s term ended in October few weeks prior to release. President Zuma has attempted to stop the release of the report, however, lost legal ground in court. South African authorities released the report on November 2nd.
“I interdicted it because she (Madonsela) was going to issue a report, having not talked to me, or asked me questions,” president Zuma said.
The “state” capture report details multiple charges against president Zuma for illegal enrichment and bribery. The report scrutinizes president Zuma’s warm relationships with mogul family – The Guptas – who control several industries in the country such as mining, technology, airlines and media.
Business influencing politics.
The “state capture” report is a result of several whistle-blowers account of previous ministers who outed the Guptas’ interference in politics in March. Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jones declined an alleged bribery offer from the family to allow the family access to public contracts as declared in his interview in the report. The sacking of the previous finance minister Nhlanhla Nene is linked to a similar affair.
Vytjie Mentor, an outspoken critic of president Zuma and former African National Congress (ANC), alleges receiving offer from the prominent family to head the ministry of public enterprises in 2010 on condition to cancel state company, South African Airlines’s, flight to Mumbai. The Gupta family owns Jet Airlines which also flies from Johannesburg to Mumbai, India. When she refused the offer, Mentor meeting president Zuma at the Gupta mansion. The president allegedly escorted her outside the house and said  “it’s okay girl…take care of yourself.”
The report includes further incrimination details against the Brian Molefe, CEO of Eskom, premier South African utilities company. Molefe resigned on November 11th denying links to the Gupta family. He does not admit any wrongdoing. Despite denying any “special” relations with the Guptas, the former public prosecutor tracked 58 calls exchanged between the former CEO and the Guptas’ elder, Ajay Gupta. In an interview with the prosecutor team, Ajay Gupta confirmed he’s “very good” friends with Molefe.
New charges against dissenting finance minister.
The current minister, Pravin Gordhan, who reportedly resisted the Gupta family’s influence within his ministry, faces legal battles. Minister Gordhan faces fraud charges for extending the contract of one of his former colleagues at the South African Revenue Service. Gordhan had previously signed on an early retirement his former colleagues but later asked him to return to work as a consultant.
South Africa is facing a new economy recession as its currency (the rand) is tanking. Economist experts expect a credit devaluation from international crediting institutions.
President Jacob Zuma survived a motion of no confidence in South Africa’s parliament because of the corruption scandal on November 10th. The president’s party defeated 214 to 126. On another trial, a South African court ordered him to pay new renovation expenses to his private home.
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