Deputy President and ANC presidential hopeful Cyril Ramaphosa has called on the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to fast-track their investigations into state capture, adding that it was a "shame" that the FBI was now investigating the issue while the perception that South Africa was corrupt was growing, The Times reported.
"The FBI is now investigating us because the perception is that South Africa is seen as a corrupt country because the state has been captured... That is why we are calling on the Hawks and the NPA to immediately start investigating state capture... we will not be defeated by the Americans," he reportedly said.
Ramaphosa was addressing a "cadres' assembly" in Mahikeng in the North West on Sunday.
ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is in Mahikeng North West Province to address a Cadres forum. pic.twitter.com/hZ8ikJu4kN— Samkele maseko (@samkelemaseko) October 22, 2017
The US Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating the Guptas and their relatives living the US. The Times reported last week that US and UK authorities were planning to seize the bank accounts and confiscate properties linked to the Guptas in the two countries.
The ANC in the North West distanced itself from Ramaphosa's visit, saying that as a "self-respecting movement", the party could not have its presidential hopefuls "undermining the ANC's constitutional structures", according to Daily Maverick.
Meanwhile, the dirty tricks campaign against Ramaphosa appears to be gaining traction, with weekend reports suggesting he could be fired, soon. City Press reported that his campaign team believes his days as deputy president are numbered.
Ramaphosa's friend and former unionist James Motlatsi told City Press that Zuma never liked Rampahosa to begin with.
"Before he was elected president in 2007, Zuma told military veterans during an address that they were not being cared for precisely because the ANC elected Cyril as secretary-general of ANC in 1991. Cyril was not active politically then, but Zuma still mentioned him by name.
"When Cyril was approached to be Zuma's deputy, I warned him. I said: 'Look, there are no permanent friends and foes in politics, but I don't think this comrade likes you,'" he said.