Hawks Conducting Raid At Gupta Compound

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On Tuesday, the ruling African National Congress ordered Zuma to step down as president, giving him no firm deadline but saying the party was sure he would comply and "respond" on Wednesday.

Zuma is already facing a no-confidence motion in parliament, brought by the opposition EFF and set for 22 February. "They have not been arrested or charged with anything and are still free as we speak‚" he told TimesLIVE.

The Gupta family are at the centre of an ongoing state capture probe in which they allegedly used undue influence to score lucrative contracts from state-owned enterprises.

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The Hawks have confirmed that three people have been arrested and two others are expected to hand themselves over on Wednesday, following raids in relation to the Vrede Dairy farm investigation. Sources close to the Guptas, and with knowledge of the raids and their apparent looming arrests‚ said moves were under way to get some sort of deal signed.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said Zuma would speak at 0800 GMT and satellite trucks were in position overnight.

Zuma and the Guptas - a family of wealthy Indian-born businessmen - deny any wrongdoing.

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The order also represents a win for immigrant rights organizations and the states involved in the suit. The judge's decision follows a similar ruling by a federal court in San Francisco last month.

Adding to the confusion, a copy of an email, purportedly from deputy presidential communications director Shadi Baloyi, circulated on Twitter telling Pretoria police that plans for a "special media briefing" by Zuma at the Union Buildings had been cancelled.

It is expected that the three persons arrested earlier today during operations carried out by the Hawks at Gauteng properties, including a Bedfordview house, will appear in court in Bloemfontein tomorrow.

Earlier on Wednesday, City Press reported that Thabethe was arrested at his home in Bloemfontein after a raid conducted simultaneously with the raid on the Guptas' home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg.

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Police also raided the Guptas' Oakbay holding company in Johannesburg's Sandton financial district, according to a security guard outside the building. "It's very specific items that they are looking for here and elsewhere‚" the source said.

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