One of South Africa’s richest family – The Gupta family and its subsidiary companies say they will welcome any judicial inquiry on their political and business status in the state.
The heavily connected family believes that if the investigation is conducted, it would end what it calls wild speculation about its dealings with government.
Speaking further, the family spokesman Gary Naidoo maintained that the family has little or no tie with the government.
He added that their latest financial statements show that only 1% of their earnings came from government related businesses.
The call for the Judicial investigation was proposed by SA Communist Party second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila.
Proposing the move for the family’s investigation, Mapaila argued that there should be no family that will have any control of government or any independent institutions.
The Gupta family is an Indian-South African business family whose most notable members are the brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh “Tony” Gupta.
They migrated from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh to South Africa in 1993 shortly before the country’s first democratic elections, to setup and run Sahara Computers.
Also, Zuma’s son Duduzane, is said to be a shareholder in one of the companies owned by the Guptas.
Meanwhile, Political analyst Professor Tinyiko Maluleke says is this not just about the Guptas, but also about South Africa’s number citizen Jacob Zuma.
Zuma has been given a rough ride in Parliament over his ties to the family, with the EFF’s Malema calling him “Mr Zupta” during his State of the Nation address.
No doubt, why it looks as if the family is not welcomed in South Africa is because they are yet to convince the populace that they have no sort of influence in Zuma’s led-administration.
Questions have been raised for a number of years over the New Age breakfasts shows held in partnership with the SABC, which are attended by cabinet ministers and for which government entities have paid large sums for tables.
Also, questions over the way a firm -Tegeta Exploration and Resources, in which the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane hold interests became the preferred bidder for a coal mine belonging to Glencore are yet to be answered.
Last Friday, a report cited ANC sources that appeared in Africa Confidential saying the Gupta brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, were in the process of relocating to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The reports further indicated that the family’s decision to relocated was linked to the wake of “increased scrutiny” of their businesses, especially their contracts with government or state-owned enterprise.
But family spokesman Gary Naidoo said the report was “categorically untrue”.
“We have also seen these reports and are pursuing legal action against those that have published the story,” Naidoo said.
“The Gupta family are proud to be South African and have been in the country since 1993. Oakbay Investments, the holding company for the Gupta family’s businesses in South Africa, has a strong track record of business success and has reinvested all profits in South Africa,” he added.
The family lives at the Sahara Estate in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, a compound comprising at least four mansions.