South African opposition demands release of political interference report

Members of South Africa’s opposition parties arrive at the High Court in Pretoria to push for the release of a report which alleges political interference by wealthy friends of President Jacob Zuma.

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (NOVEMBER 1, 2016) (REUTERS) – South African opposition parties appeared in court on Tuesday (November 1) to fight President Jacob Zuma’s attempt to postpone the release of results of an anti-corruption investigation.

The report looks into allegations of political interference by Zuma’s wealthy friends, the Gupta family.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has finalised her findings in a probe into the Guptas, an Indian-born family accused of using their close ties with Zuma to influence cabinet appointments.

Zuma and the Guptas deny wrongdoing, but the allegations have damaged the president, who was separately forced to repay part of the cost of a lavish upgrade to his private residence as a result of an investigation by Madonsela.

Zuma had asked Madonsela not to report her findings until he has had a chance to question other witnesses and reviewed any evidence that implicated him.

But Madonsela said the president had been given all the evidence implicating him on October 1, and urged Zuma to answer questions to aid the probe.

The row over the report adds to pressure on Zuma. His government was rocked this week when prosecutors ordered Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to appear in court on November 2 to hear fraud charges against him. The charges were dropped yesterday.