The controversial Gupta family has again denied any wrongdoing in the wake of explosive revelations in e-mail correspondence documenting the extent of the influence the family has on state affairs through its links to President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane.
The correspondence also gives insight into the role of Duduzane Zuma in presidential matters. Duduzane is a close Gupta associate and is believed to have made billions through this partnership.
Another series of e-mails show that the Guptas were central to a scheme for President Zuma and his family to acquire residency in Dubai‚ in the United Arab Emirates.
But Gupta family lawyer Gert van der Merwe said the reports relied on undisclosed documents and assumptions of impropriety resulting in a clear intention to influence political perception. This was another example of fake news‚ he said.
He invited newsrooms relying on the documents to disclose to his client‚ for consideration and comment‚ both the documents and the sources from which they were obtained.
“Once the documents are studied and verified my client will be in a position to comment‚ if justified. The family denies any wrongdoing or paying any amounts to ministers or the president and reserves its rights‚” Van der Merwe said in a statement.
President Zuma has denied he was planning to move to the UAE but failed to respond to questions about his cabinet ministers’ communications with the Guptas.
By Sipho Mabena – Tiso Black Star Group