Heavily armed South African police raided the luxury home of the Gupta family on Wednesday as part of a probe into allegations the three brothers had corrupt links with President Jacob Zuma, who has been ordered by the ruling ANC to quit as head of state.
The raid, which the state broadcaster said resulted in two arrests including one Gupta family member, came amid reports Zuma was preparing to tell South Africa he was stepping down after nine years in office dogged by scandal and economic stagnation.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said Zuma would speak at 0800 GMT and satellite trucks were in position at Pretoria’s Union Buildings, the seat of the country’s government. Zuma’s office said there was no “official communication” of any impending address but urged media to wait.
The raid on the Gupta’s compound marks a dramatic escalation in the pressure on Zuma and the political faction around him accused of milking state resources for their own ends.
A dozen officers from the elite Hawks police unit sealed off a street leading to the Gupta home in Johannesburg’s upscale Saxonwold suburb. One officer blocked access to Reuters, saying: “This is a crime scene.”