Indian businessmen Ajay Gupta and younger brother Atul Gupta.
JOHANNESBURG - China’s former ambassador to South Africa has admitted that he met the controversial Gupta family during his tenure.
Ambassador Zhong Jianhua was speaking about China-Africa relations during a seminar at Oxford University.
During the question and answer session, the ambassador was asked about reports that China South Rail had allegedly paid kickbacks to or through the Guptas to secure a multi-billion rand contract with state-owned entity Transnet.
The ambassador said it&39;s up to South Africa’s authorities and courts to deal with the corruption allegations.
Zhong served as ambassador to South Africa from 2007 to 2012.
The Chinese embassy, in a response to a query from News24, said that the Chinese would always act according to the laws of their hosting countries.
“The Chinese Embassy can confidently assure the South African public that the Chinese government strictly requires Chinese companies to operate in accordance with the law of hosting countries, including that of South Africa. The Chinese government does not protect companies that are involved in questionable or illegal activities,” noted embassy spokesperson Yu Yong aid in an email.