Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS
Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS

Two days before the Hawks swooped on the Guptas’ compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, DA leader Mmusi Maimane warned against law enforcement agencies playing factional games while the country watched.

He was speaking to reporters on Monday during a briefing on the latest developments surrounding President Jacob Zuma and efforts by the ANC to get him out of power early and replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa, the party’s president.

Maimane said security, intelligence and criminal justice agencies of the state were sensing the winds of change in power and had begun expediting their pursuit of the Gupta family and others implicated in state capture.

On Wednesday morning, the Directorate for Priority Criminal Investigation (the Hawks) conducted a surprise raid of the Gupta residence. This was the morning after the ANC confirmed it had asked Zuma to resign as state president.

The DA also received notification from National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams that he would respond by Thursday to their request that he clarify whether he believes charges relating to 783 counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering should be preferred against Zuma.

Speaking at a briefing in which opposition parties in Parliament said they would ask National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete to bring the EFF’s motion of no confidence forward as urgent, Maimane said SA needed a fresh start to stop state organs in the security and criminal justice space from operating on the basis of political power dynamics.

"The reason we took [the] Section 50 [proposal to the speaker] is because we did not want these factional divisions we see in the ANC to take root and continue to influence the functioning of state entities and agencies solely on isolated party politics. That is the reason we are in this situation," said Maimane.

He said the ANC could not be trusted to hold Zuma accountable because it had defended him for eight years and because the party was only recalling him now as he had become a liability to their fortunes in the upcoming 2019 general elections.