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posted: 2/15/2018 7:00 AM

The Latest: 8 arrested in South Africa corruption probe

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  • South African President Jacob Zuma leaves after addressing the the nation and the press at the government's Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. Zuma resigned on Wednesday in the televised address to the nation, ending a turbulent tenure marred by corruption scandals that sapped the popularity of the ruling African National Congress and hurt one of Africa's biggest economies.

    South African President Jacob Zuma leaves after addressing the the nation and the press at the government's Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. Zuma resigned on Wednesday in the televised address to the nation, ending a turbulent tenure marred by corruption scandals that sapped the popularity of the ruling African National Congress and hurt one of Africa's biggest economies.
    Associated Press

  • South African President Jacob Zuma addresses the the nation and the press at the government's Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. Zuma resigned on Wednesday in the televised address to the nation, ending a turbulent tenure marred by corruption scandals that sapped the popularity of the ruling African National Congress and hurt one of Africa's biggest economies.

    South African President Jacob Zuma addresses the the nation and the press at the government's Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. Zuma resigned on Wednesday in the televised address to the nation, ending a turbulent tenure marred by corruption scandals that sapped the popularity of the ruling African National Congress and hurt one of Africa's biggest economies.
    Associated Press

 
 

JOHANNESBURG -- The Latest on South Africa's leadership transition (all times local):

1 p.m.

South African authorities say eight people have been arrested in an investigation into alleged corruption involving a business family linked to former leader Jacob Zuma.

The police ministry says police are seeking another five suspects in a probe of a dairy project in which state funds earmarked for local farmers allegedly were siphoned off to a company tied to the Gupta family.

The ministry says several of the five wanted suspects are believed to be outside South Africa. Those who were detained appeared in court on Thursday.

Police raided the Gupta home in an affluent Johannesburg neighborhood early Wednesday. Zuma resigned as president late Wednesday following years of corruption scandals.

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12:45 p.m.

A South African opposition party says it won't participate in the parliamentary election of a new president on Thursday because it says the ruling party is corrupt.

Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, says parliament instead should be dissolved so that new lawmakers can be selected in early elections.

The parliament is dominated by the ruling African National Congress and is expected to select acting President Cyril Ramaphosa to succeed Jacob Zuma, who resigned as president late Wednesday.

Malema says the ANC protected Zuma during years of corruption scandals before turning against him and wouldn't act differently under an administration led by Ramaphosa, who has pledged to fight graft.

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11:35 a.m.

South Africa's ruling party says it will nominate acting President Cyril Ramaphosa to be elected as the country's new leader in a parliament vote Thursday afternoon.

Ramaphosa was elected the leader of the ruling African National Congress in December and had been poised to succeed former president Jacob Zuma, who resigned late Wednesday.

The ANC ordered Zuma to step down after the party was weakened by multiple corruption allegations around him. Zuma has denied wrongdoing.

The country's new president will be sworn in after the parliament vote and is then expected to address the chamber.

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11:15 a.m.

South Africa's parliament spokesman says the speaker has received Jacob Zuma's resignation letter and his departure as president is effective immediately.

Parliament is set to elect a new president Thursday afternoon. Until then, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is acting president.

Zuma announced his resignation late Wednesday after the ruling African National Congress ordered him to step down. The ANC has been hurt by multiple corruption allegations around Zuma, who has denied wrongdoing.

The ANC now must try to rebuild its reputation ahead of next year's elections.

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10:50 a.m.

South Africa's government says acting President Cyril Ramaphosa is in charge until parliament elects a new leader Thursday afternoon following the resignation of Jacob Zuma.

The 400-member parliament, dominated by the ruling African National Congress party, is expected to select Ramaphosa to finish his predecessor's term, which ends with elections in 2019.

Zuma resigned late Wednesday after the ANC, which has lost popularity because of corruption scandals during his tenure, instructed him to leave. Ramaphosa has promised to fight graft.

The South African currency strengthened against the dollar in early trading Thursday after Zuma's resignation, which ended a leadership crisis that had stalled some government business.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation welcomes Zuma's departure but says the state must act against "networks of criminality" that have hurt South Africa's democracy.

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