Cope to lay treason charges against Zuma, Guptas

2016-03-17 10:59

Cape Town - The Congress of the People will be laying charges of treason and corruption against President Jacob Zuma and members of the Gupta family on Thursday, spokesperson Dennis Bloem said.

Bloem said the charges were being laid at the Brooklyn police station and he would provide further details later.

The opposition party's move comes after Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas broke his silence and confirmed reports that he had been offered the position of minister of finance by businessman Atul Gupta last year.

Jonas said he refused the offer.

The presidency is yet to respond to the astounding claims, but Gupta has denied them, challenging Jonas to put them in a sworn statement.

The Sunday Times also reported on March 13 that Zuma’s son Duduzane was at the meeting at a Sandton hotel in November. The newspaper further alleged that ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte had offered Jonas the position a few days later.

The ANC denied Duarte's involvement.

Backbencher Des Van Rooyen served for a few days as finance minister after the axing of Nhlanhla Nene, but was then replaced by former finance minister Pravin Gordhan after howls of outrage and a plummeting currency.

The developments come as Moody's mull whether to review South Africa's ratings and place the country on "junk" status, which would turn investors off.

The most recent use of treason charges was the temporary indictment of six students arrested for attempting to storm Parliament during a protest in December during a campaign to have university fees frozen.

The charges against Kevin French, Markus Trengove, Nathan Taylor, Chumani Maxwele, Kgotsi Chikane and Lindsay Maasdorp were hastily dropped and they were charged instead with trespassing in terms of the National Key Points Act and contravening the Gatherings Act, for not getting permission to gather during Nene's medium term Budget presentation in the National Assembly.

Cope was formed during a power struggle between supporters of former president Thabo Mbeki and Zuma for the top spot in the African National Congress.

Mbeki lost the battle and his supporters, which included ANC veteran and then defence minister Mosioua Lekota, went on to form the opposition party.

Read more on:    gupta family

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