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South Africa Graft Probe Postpones McBride Testimony as 30 Named

South Africa’s judicial panel probing corruption postponed the testimony of a top official that oversees complaints against the police because it implicates at least 30 high-profile people who need time to prepare to respond to his allegations.

Judge Raymond Zondo, who is chairing the panel probing graft particularly during Jacob Zuma’s presidency, granted the postponement of the testimony of Robert McBride, the head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, on Thursday following a request from evidence leader. The panel first focused on allegations that members of the wealthy Gupta family used their close relationship with Zuma and other officials to loot state companies -- allegations they deny. Testimony by Angelo Agrizzi, the former chief operating officer of services company Bosasa, has also implicated a number of other senior politicians and officials, indicating that the problem was far more widespread and could further damage the ruling African National Congress’s reputation ahead of elections scheduled for May. The commission, now in its sixth month, earlier heard testimony from former Member of Parliament Dennis Bloem and Erna Wiese, an architectural expert with the Department of Public Works, who spoke about a report compiled after the department visited the Guptas’ home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. DM

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