Finding it hard to keep up with the news surrounding the explosive revelations in e-mail correspondence documenting the extent of the Gupta family’s influence in South Africa? Then read this.
This is a developing story. Courtesy of Times Digital Media
The e-mails show the extent of Gupta control over Cabinet ministers and parastatal CEOs and board members. The correspondence also gives insight into the role of President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane in presidential matters. Duduzane is a close Gupta associate and is believed to have made billions of rand through this partnership.
Ministers and the Guptas
Several ministers have been implicated in the #GuptaEmails, which revealed that the Guptas:
- were sent Mosebenzi Zwane’s CV a month before he was appointed minister of mineral resources;
- had staff coach Zwane on how to handle media conferences, including questions about his relationship with the family (he flew on a Gupta jet to Dubai and they picked up the tab for his accommodation);
- intervened to have the powers of the then communications minister, Faith Muthambi, strengthened and were forwarded a presidential proclamation detailing her powers by Muthambi herself before it was signed by Zuma;
- paid for Des van Rooyen’s trip to Dubai after his appointment to the Cabinet in December 2015; and
- had their company’s CEO, Nazeem Howa, prepare notes for ANC Youth League president Collen Maine advising him on how to respond to media questions.
Spin doctors conspired to smear Jonas
Gupta family associates worked with UK public relations firm Bell Pottinger to launch a smear campaign against the Treasury by painting former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas as corrupt, the leaked e-mails show. They also show that Duduzane Zuma put himself in charge of a fight-back by the Gupta family as they sought to counter reports about their relationship with several government leaders.
Moving to Dubai?
Another series of explosive e-mails show the Guptas were central to a scheme for Jacob Zuma and his family to obtain residency in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. However, Zuma denied the claim this weekend, saying his only home was in Nkandla.
In the wake of these revelations, the Gupta family has denied any wrongdoing. 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. He questioned the authenticity of the emails and said he would consider further action if the newspapers had infringed on his clients’ right to privacy.
President survives another day
Meanwhile, Zuma survived a bid by some members of the ANC’s top leadership to order his removal from office. The party’s national executive committee decided on Sunday not to vote on a motion of no confidence in the president, according to committee members who asked not to be identified because they were not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.
‘Silent Coup’: State capture report
A study by eight leading academics from four of the nation’s top universities, released last week, found that Zuma and his allies, including members of the Gupta family, had carried out a “silent coup” that enabled them to raid state assets and reap billions of rand from government contracts. Zuma and the Guptas have previously denied such allegations.
Meanwhile in the Cape…
The Guptas are splashing out on a new palace, this time a Cape Town mansion that used to belong to Mark Thatcher, son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. The plan to renovate the Constantia home – which includes lopping off the thatched roof, building a double-storey second dwelling and upgrading a lavish entertainment area – faces opposition from ratepayers, who fear another Gupta compound on the scale of their Saxonwold property in Johannesburg.