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Zuma to be quizzed by S.Africa watchdog

South African President Jacob Zuma will be questioned by the country’s top watchdog Thursday over alleged misconduct including allowing a wealthy Indian migrant family to choose ministers, officials said.

Zuma, 74, has survived a series of damaging corruption scandals while in office, but he has faced increasing criticism over the last year as the economy stalls and after the ruling ANC party suffered unprecedented losses in local polls.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will quiz Zuma in the final stages of her probe into allegations that the Gupta family were granted undue influence over the government.

“She will meet the president tomorrow (Thursday). The meeting forms part of the investigation into the so-called ‘state capture’ matter,” Madonsela’s spokesman Oupa Segalwe told AFP.

The three Gupta brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, have built a business empire in mining, media, technology and engineering since moving to South Africa in the 1990s.

Deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas alleged in March that the Guptas had offered him a promotion shortly before Zuma sacked respected finance minister Nhlanhla Nene last year.

The president was also alleged to have allowed the family to use a military airport to fly in guests for a wedding in 2013.

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied all the allegations.

The president is set to stand down when the next general election is held in 2019 after serving the maximum two terms in office.

“We will hear his version of events and he may have information for us that we will need to consider,” Madonsela, who steps down at the end of this month, told the Business Day newspaper.

Zuma last month paid back public money spent renovating his private house after a damning report by Madonsela and a ruling against him by the Constitutional Court.