Zuma backs down on bid to block corruption report

South African President Jacob Zuma and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) speak to the media following talks at the Chancellery on November 10, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Mr Zuma is under intense pressure to resign

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has dropped his court bid to block the release of a report into his allegedly improper relationship with businessmen.

Mr Zuma’s lawyer informed the High Court in the capital, Pretoria, of the decision, but the reasons are unclear.

Opposition groups are rallying in South Africa’s major cities to demand Mr Zuma’s resignation.

He has been dogged by corruption allegations for more than a decade, but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The report by former anti-corruption chief Thuli Madonsela is believed to contain damning allegations against him, reports the BBC’s Milton Nkosi from Pretoria.

She investigated allegations that he let the wealthy Gupta family wield undue influence in his government.

The Guptas were accused of trying to influence ministerial posts in exchange for business favours.

Both Mr Zuma and the Gupta family strongly denied the allegation.

Mr Zuma’s bid to block the report’s release was challenged by opposition parties, which are now demanding that he pays their legal costs.

Image caption

Opposition parties have repeatedly accused Mr Zuma of being corrupt, which he denies

Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, said his party would ask the court to order the report’s immediate release.

Mr Zuma has been dogged by allegations of corruption for more than a decade.

Opposition supporters have been rallying in Pretoria, shouting “Zuma must fall.”

Ms Madonsela’s investigation was triggered by allegations in March by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas that the Gupta family had made “a mockery of our hard-earned democracy” by offering him the finance minister’s post last year.

Mr Jonas said he rejected the offer; the Guptas accused him of political point-scoring.

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor also alleged that the family offered her the powerful public enterprise minister’s post in 2010 in exchange for business favours.

Ms Mentor alleged that Mr Zuma was in another part of the Guptas’ family home in Johannesburg when the offer was made. Mr Zuma’s office said at the time that he had no “recollection” of Ms Mentor, while the family strongly denied her allegation.

Zuma backs down on bid to block corruption report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.