Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa finally resigned after months of defying orders from the ruling African National Congress amid massive protests from the countrymen to leave office and did the needful on the eve of a no-confidence vote in parliament.
“I fear no motion of no confidence or impeachment. I will continue to serve the people of South Africa and the ANC. I will dedicate my life to continuing to work for the execution of the policies of our organisation,” Zuma said.
What Has Happened?
The infamous Gupta brothers have been accused by the public anti-graft watchdog of South Africa of using their friendship with President Zuma to influence policy and amass humongous wealth and properties. Zuma has been working hand in gloves with the Guptas for years now which has benefitted both the parties immensely.
As per the Gulf Times, South African prosecutors have been authorised to freeze 220 million rands, including 10 million which was illegally transferred to Atul Gupta’s bank account in connection to a state-backed dairy project in the Free State province. They have been hated by the public at large for quite a number of years now.
Who are the Gupta Brothers?
The Gupta family have come from the notorious city of Saharanpur, an industrial town in Uttar Pradesh, India, where the patriarch, Shiv Kumar Gupta, used to be an influential trader in spices and soapstone powders. The three sons, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, born in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, were given a free hand to venture into the world.
Ajay, the eldest, went to Russia. Atul went to South Africa and it is believed that his father had told him that, Africa “was the next America”.
Millions of rand allocated for the Vrede dairy project was being laundered via Dubai to finance the Gupta family wedding. Also, an official plane was used to carry guests to the wedding spot which apparently landed at the Waterkloof Military Air Base.
The leaked e-mails show the huge extent of Gupta control over the Zuma government and the power that it wields. The correspondence also explicitly mentioned the important role of Zuma’s son, Duduzane in matters related to the presidency. Duduzane is supposedly close to Guptas and has minted millions through this partnership.
Also read: The Great Fall Of Reliance Communications
As mentioned in the Quint, in a stunning revelation, African National Congress MP Vytjie Mentor alleged that the Guptas offered her a ministerial post in exchange for a business deal in the Guptas Saxonworld residence and also went onto claim that the President was around when the offer was made.
The clearly visible connections between the Zumas and the Guptas were so strong and close that the South African press began calling the family, “the Zuptas”.
Bell Pottinger, once a sought-after PR firm had run a racially charged campaign to deflect attention from Zuma’s relationship with the Guptas by blaming the nation’s ill health on ‘white monopoly capital’. The aftermath of this campaign was that the fight against apartheid was flickered yet again and had sent the country into disarray.
What Will Happen Now?
As of now, South Africa has begun a new era under a Ramaphosa presidency, who is more aware of the power of the people, and seems less willing to tolerate corruption.
We certainly cannot rule out Zuma’s influence and power yet. He can turn tables still.
As far as the corruption charges are concerned, the Gupta brothers have supposedly left the country and have dismissed all allegations as baseless. If the police does its investigation properly, we might not see the Guptas in South Africa for a long time.
Images- Google Images, Gulf News