The ruling African National Congress said yesterday it is gravely concerned by leaked documents alleging influence-peddling by friends of President Jacob Zuma, deepening a divide in South Africa’s ruling party over its leader.
Some South African media reported they had access to over 100,000 leaked documents and emails that showed improper dealings in lucrative government contracts by business friends of Zuma.
The latest allegations of influence-peddling may deepen divisions in the ANC as faction’s battle for control ahead of a party conference in December where a successor to the beleaguered, scandal-plagued Zuma will be chosen. Zuma can remain as head of state until an election in 2019.
Zuma and the Gupta family, wealthy Indian-born businessmen whose companies have contracts with state-owned firms, have not commented but have denied similar allegations in the past. Reuters could not independently verify the new allegations.
“These reports contain very worrying claims about the nature of the relationship between government and private interests,” the ANC said in a statement, calling on government to urgently establish the veracity of the leaks.