Guptagate: Car rental company in hot water

Johannesburg - Government's assurances to "leave no stone unturned" in the investigation of how a private aircraft charted by the Gupta family for a wedding, will include at least one of the car rental companies used to escourt the family away from Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Acting CEO for the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Phumla Williams said in Pretoria on Friday morning, that they had laid a criminal charge against S&M Transport "...for illegally using the emergency lights (blue lights) and fitting false registration plates."

eNCA.com exclusively revealed yesterday that another car rental company -- SMH Group -- had also supplied vehicles to the Guptas for their transportation to the wedding venue, 200 kilometers from the base, at Sun City.

General manager of the SMH Group Dave Raw said yesterday that the Gupta family had made arrangements with his company to hire the vehicles a week prior to the wedding.

Raw then refused to comment on whether he was made aware that blue lights would be used in his vehicles.

This morning, Raw told eNCA.com that the matter had been referred to the company's lawyer, who had advised him that they "didn't need to comment."

Raw refused to supply the lawyer's details for further comment.

He ended the call, when it was put to him that the SMH Group could face the wrath of goverment, who has suffered considerable damage to reputation over what has become a "he-said-she-said" fiasco.

With the general elections under a year away, the ANC has increasingly found itself scrambling to present to the public a leadership that is not dictated to by the Guptas.

Several instances of intimate government liaisons with the billionaire Indian family have been broadcast recently, as news of the so-called Guptagate gains local and international traction.

The family however is adamant that the attention given to their landing of a Jet Airlines plane at one of South Africa's national key points, is nothing more than "desperate" journalism from local media groups.

- eNCA

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