South Africa’s ruling party has called for an investigation into emails which appear to show allegedly corrupt links between President Jacob Zuma’s family and wealthy businessmen.
The African National Congress (ANC) said the allegations questioned the credibility of the government and such matters could not be allowed to fester.
Mr Zuma recently survived calls for his resignation by some senior ANC members.
The allegations have been dismissed as a fabrication by Mr Zuma’s lawyers.
The Gupta family of businessmen has said the leaks were “politically inspired”.
Mr Zuma has become increasing unpopular in recent years amid accusations of corruption and not doing enough to tackle poverty.
There have been mass protests calling for him to step down.
One of the revelations in the emails, known as GuptaLeaks, is that President Zuma was hoping to take up residency in the United Arab Emirates. A claim that was denied.
Others appear to show that the Gupta family exerts undue influence over the government.
By calling for an investigation, the African National Congress is putting its own leader under pressure to come clean.
At the centre of the alleged scandal is President Zuma’s son Duduzane, a business partner with the controversial Gupta family.
Some of the emails released by local media allege that Duduzane has been playing the role of middleman between his father and private business interests.
This looks like the ANC is slowly washing its hands of its 74-year-old leader. They know he will not be at the helm in six months’ time and so the dominos are beginning to fall.
Mr Zuma’s obituary has been written many times before. But even so, it does feel like Mr Zuma’s nine lives are gradually coming to an end.
Mr Zuma is due to step down as ANC president in December and his ex-wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa are vying to replace him.
His term as national president expires in 2019.
By Africafrique and agencies