December 16, 2017 / 3:57 PM / 4 months ago

South Africa's Zuma says influence-peddling in his government to be investigated

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday allegations of private businesses wielding undue influence in his government will be investigated by a judicial commission of inquiry.

President of South Africa Jacob Zuma gestures to his supporters at the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The country’s High Court ruled on Wednesday that Zuma must set up a judicial inquiry into state influence-peddling within 30 days, upholding the findings of a graft watchdog report entitled “State of Capture”.

The report focussed on allegations that Zuma’s friends, the businessmen and brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, had influenced the appointment of ministers. Zuma and the Guptas have denied all accusations of wrongdoing. Zuma was speaking on Saturday at the start of a weekend conference of his African National Congress that will vote on a new party leader.

Reporting by Alexander Winning, Nqobile Dludla and Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; writing by James Macharia; editing by Mark Heinrich

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