The Gupta-owned Oakbay Group has new auditors who insist there's no evidence the companies are breaking the law. Several financial institutions have severed ties with the group.
JOHANNESBURG – The Sunday Times and City Press are reporting on a series of damning emails which detail the Gupta family’s alleged influence over President Jacob Zuma.
The two Sunday papers report that the controversial family is at the heart of a scheme to provide Zuma with residence in the United Arab Emirates, but he has rubbished the claim.
The emails appear to confirm a number of claims around state capture.
They reveal that:
- Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane's CV was given to the Guptas a month before his appointment;
- The Guptas allegedly tried to give former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi more power; and
- The family paid for Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des van Rooyen to go to Dubai after he was appointed to cabinet.
The Sunday Times reports that last year two draft letters were circulated from Tony Gupta to Gupta-owned Sahara CEO Ashu Chawla Chawla and then to Zuma’s son Duduzane requesting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Moktoum their "guidance and direction" for making the United Arab Emirates his second home.
"It is with this sentiment that I am happy to inform you that my family has decided to make the UAE a second home. It will be a great honour for me and my family to gain your patronage during our proposed residency in the UAE," Zuma allegedly wrote in the email.
The Sunday Times reports that Zuma denied that he was planning to move to the United Arab Emirates, but failed to respond to questions about his cabinet ministers' communications with the Guptas.
Zuma told the weekly that he had no plans to leave South Africa when he retires from public office.
"I have my home in Nkandla and I have no intention of living anywhere else. When I retire I will go home to Nkandla. This is a pure fabrication. Duduzane has never spoken to me about living in any other country. He has never shown me any letter. It's shocking in the extreme. It's absolute mischief aimed at sowing confusion," Zuma told the paper.