President Jacob Zuma's final words as head of state:
As we wait for Zuma to address the nation, catch up on why, in an unprecedented move, the ANC will support a motion brought about by an opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, calling for the National Assembly to relieve Zuma of his duties as the president of the republic.
Live stream from the the Union Buildings as President Jacob Zuma addresses the nation regarding his recall from the ruling ANC
Gupta latest: Atul in talks, Ajay officially under arrest
Tense negotiations were still under way by Wednesday evening with the lawyers of five suspects arrested by the Hawks in connection with the R220 million looted from the failed diary farm in Vrede, Free State.
City Press understands that elder Gupta brother Ajay was officially arrested while middle brother Atul Gupta, was in discussions with the Hawks, through his lawyer, to hand himself over.
Continue reading here
‘Victimised’ Zuma says he is not defying ANC, just disagrees with them
President Jacob Zuma says he has not defied the leadership of the ANC by refusing to step down but he simply disagreed with their reasons.
In an interview with the SABC on Wednesday, Zuma said that he would not resign but he would issue a statement later in the day.
READ more here
President Jacob Zuma surprised the nation with a live interview with the SABC this afternoon. Here are five telling statements from the interview
READ: I am not being defiant. I disagree - Zuma
The ANC is briefing the media after Zuma's SABC interview
President Jacob Zuma is speaking to the SABC. See below for the live stream:
Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete has agreed to reschedule the EFF's motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma. The vote will take place on Thursday February 15 at 2pm. The voting will be done by open ballot.
And what about the rand? It has strengthened to it's best level since May 2015:
The ANC has set out their prefered sequence of events if Zuma does not resign by today:
BREAKING: The ANC in Parliament will table a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma if he does not resign by today in line with the party's decision to recall him.
The ANC caucus meeting is over, according to our Parliamentary reporter Andisiwe Makinana
Meanwhile, ANC's parliamentary caucus meeting is continuing
This morning the home of Ashok Narayan, a Gupta lieutenant and former managing director of Gupta-owned Sahara Systems, was visited by the Hawks. Our reporters on the ground report that all is quite at the Bedfordview property
A leaked email to the South African Police Services shows that the presidency had scheduled a briefing for 10am this morning but it was subsequently cancelled.
The Economic Freedom Fightrers have postponed their urgent application to have the motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma brought forward. This after the EFF engaged with the ANC's caucus in Parliament.
The Hawks on Wednesday morning confirmed that the serious corruption crime unit was “conducting ongoing operations at various addresses in Gauteng, including a residential premises in Saxonwold near Johannesburg.”
Ajay Gupta (File)
The residential premises is the Gupta family compound.
The Hawks confirmed that three people had been arrested and two other suspects were expected to hand themselves over to the Hawks.
“Operations are still ongoing and further details will be made available at a later stage.”
Although the Hawks have not named those arrested, City Press has learnt from a source close to the Guptas’ legal team that the elder Gupta brother, Ajay Gupta, has been taken in for questioning.
At least one of the Gupta brothers is set to appear in the Commercial Crimes Court in Bloemfontein later today, reports Abram Mashego.
City Press was told by a senior source within the security cluster that the unnamed Gupta brother will be appearing in court alongside former Free State agriculture department head Peter Thabethe. The charges are likely to be fraud, corruption and money laundering.
City Press was also told that if the Hawks managed to arrest the other Gupta brother and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane this morning, then they would also appear in the dock alongside them.
Duduzane Zuma. Picture: Brendan Croft/foto24
While Hawks officers are on the hunt for President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, as well as one Gupta brother, all was quiet outside Duduzane Zuma’s Saxonwold home this morning, report Abram Mashego, Gayle Edmunds and Dewald van Rensburg.
The property at 18 Griswold Drive, which is situated about two blocks away from the Gupta family compound in Saxonwold, is registered under the name of a holding company belonging to Duduzane Zuma and the Gupta family.However, neighbours say that Duduzane Zuma has not been seen or heard at the property for a while now.
Neighbours say that they usually hear the sound of his sportscars’ engines, but these have been silent of late.
His extensive security – which includes a number of guards on duty around the clock and which is usually highly visible from the street – have also not been there.
Former Free State agriculture head, Peter Thabethe, has been arrested in connection with his involvement in the failed dairy farm project in Vrede, reports Abram Mashego.
Thabethe was the head of department at the time that now-Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane was the MEC for agriculture.
A senior security cluster official told City Press that Thabethe was arrested on Wednesday morning after a raid on his home in Bloemfontein early Wednesday morning.
Simultaneous raids were conducted on both the Gupta family’s Saxonwold mansions and Thabethe’s house in the Free State capital.
The charges Thabethe is likely to face include corruption, fraud, and money laundering.
According to a court application attached to a preservation order obtained by the Asset Forfeiture Unit in respect of the dairy project run by Gupta-linked company Estina, Thabethe helped the Gupta family and their business associates syphon off more than R200 million from his department.
The money was supposed to have been used to benefit poor black farmers under the province’s Zero Hunger programme.
Update: The Hawks are trying to locate Duduzane Zuma and another Gupta brother, reports Abram Mashego
Update: City Press has established that two people have been arrested. More to follow...
As a dramatic raid is carried out on the Gupta family’s Saxonwold compound, City Press has learnt of the imminent arrest of at least two Gupta brothers as well as Duduzane Zuma.
City Press was told by a senior source within the security cluster that two Gupta brothers as well as President Jacob Zuma’s son face arrest from today in connection with money laundering, fraud and corruption charges related to the failed dairy farm project in Vrede, Free State.
The source was unable to reveal which two of the three Gupta brothers are set to be arrested. However, City Press has established that elder Gupta brother Ajay is in the country.
Ajay Gupta was spotted outside the family’s Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga last week. News of the arrests was not yet confirmed by the Hawks.
The Hawks have been trying to place the Gupta brothers under arrest for the past two weeks but have been unsure of their whereabouts. They were supposed to have been arrested last Thursday evening.
City Press was told that the men would appear in the Commercial Crimes Court in Bloemfontein on Friday, however the arrests were called off at the eleventh hour because their whereabouts had not been established.
The source said at the time: “It’s not a go today yet. We couldn’t locate two important targets.”
City Press understands that the Hawks have been working with the department of home affairs in an effort to establish where they are. City Press was told that the suspects would be taken to Bloemfontein after their arrest where they would appear in that city’s Commercial Crimes Court.
The security cluster source said that for now, only the two Gupta brothers and Duduzane Zuma face arrest and “no politicians yet”.
The politicians in question include Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, who was the Free State MEC for agriculture at the time.
The Guptas, according to a preservation order secured by the Asset Forfeiture Unit, syphoned off more than R200 million from the project which was established under the province’s “Zero Hunger” programme and supposed to assist poor black farmers.
Hawks spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi, was not immediately available for comment.