UNDER PRESSURE: South African president Jacob Zuma
SOUTH AFRICAN president Jacob Zuma is facing calls for his resignation following the publication of a report that found evidence of government corruption.
In the 355 page report, called State of Capture by former anti-corruption chief Thuli Madonsela, the president and leader of the governing African National Congress (ANC) is accused of having an improper relationship with wealthy businessman Ajay Gupta.
Also in the report, Madonsela recommends Zuma establish a judicial commission of inquiry within 30 days.
President Zuma tried to block the release of the report, but dropped his court bid on Wednesday.
Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas is quoted in the report as saying that businessman Ajay Gupta offered him 600m rand ($44.6m; £36.2m) last year, "to be deposited in an account of his choice", if he accepted the post of finance minister.
According to Jonas’s allegations, Gupta also asked him if he had "a bag which he could use to receive and carry 600,000 rand in cash immediately", adding that Zuma's son, Duduzane, was present at the meeting.
Jonas is quoted as saying that if he had accepted the offer, he was expected to remove key Treasury officials from their posts and advance the Gupta family's "business ambitions".
The businessman has not yet commented on the report, but has previously denied any wrongdoing.
There has also been no reaction from Zuma, who did not co-operate with the investigation, saying he had not been given enough time.
The Gupta family is close to President Zuma, and the two have been nicknamed by the opposition as the "Zuptas".
After Mr Jonas rejected the alleged offer, little-known ANC MP Des van Rooyen was appointed finance minister.
Ms Madonsela said she had obtained evidence, including telephone records, placing Van Rooyen at the Gupta's family home on seven occasions, including the day before the appointment.
Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Musi Maimane said state coffers were being "plundered" by "crooks", but the "good guys" were winning in the battle to safeguard the democracy which emerged in South Africa at the end of minority rule in 1994.
Zuma has been dogged by corruption allegations for more than a decade, but has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
This week police fired water cannon to disperse protesters who marched on Zuma's main office in Pretoria to demand his resignation.