South Africa: More resources sought in probe of president

AP News
Posted: Jun 07, 2016 9:20 AM
South Africa: More resources sought in probe of president

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — One of South Africa's top corruption fighters said Tuesday she has asked the government for more resources to investigate allegations that a wealthy Indian business family influenced President Jacob Zuma's choices of Cabinet ministers.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela told reporters that her office has been asked to probe "whether or not the government of South Africa, in this particular case the president, unlawfully helped the Gupta family to choose ministers and other occupants of higher offices."

The Gupta family has been in the spotlight for years because of its closeness to Zuma amid accusations it received preferential treatment. South Africa's deputy finance minister has said the family directly offered him the finance minister job in December.

Madonsela, whose term ends in October, said she expects her successor to continue the investigation.

In April, South Africa's highest court ruled that Madonsela was right to order Zuma to pay back some of the estimated $23 million in state funds used to improve his private residence. That issue fueled concerns about alleged corruption at the highest levels of government and led to opposition calls for the president to resign.

Zuma has apologized and said he would abide by the Constitutional Court ruling that he should pay back some of the funds.