Indian-South African business family, the Guptas, have been slammed by the independent fact verification organisation, Africa Check, for falsifying the number of their employees. According to Africa Check, the controversial family who left South Africa last week, claimed that they employed at least 4,500 people in SA.
But after research and analysis on the Gupta companies, the fact verification organization realized that the embattled family lied and that they only employed between 2 672 and 2 892 people, excluding The New Age newspaper’s staff, as it was not able to access these figures.
Africa Check Report
According to Africa Check,
“The New Age would need to employ a minimum of 1 628 people to make up 4 500 employees, which is unlikely. The claim that Gupta businesses employ ‘more than 4 500’, or 7 500, employees is therefore not supported by available data.”
Also, Oakbay Investments’ website indicates that the Guptas own companies across a number of sectors. They include Sahara Computers, JIC Mining Services, Shiva uranium mine, Tegeta Resources, The New Age newspaper, ANN7 television news channel and Clifftop Lodge, a safari lodge located in the Welgevonden private game reserve in Limpopo. Also listed under Oakbay Investments is a company called Sahara Systems, distinct from Sahara Computers
Members of the out-of-favour family have continued to make headlines in South Africa after ANC top leaders revealed the thickness of their influence in government administration and ministerial appointments. And in the face of their woes and troubles, they defended themselves, stating that they have been impactful in the country, quoting that they had employed 4 500 people.
Yesterday, the family’s joint venture with Zuma’s son, Denel Asia came under fire after Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan declared the company (Denel Asia) illegal. The said company [Denel Asia] was formed by Denel and VR Laser Services – a company in which the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma hold a 25-percent stake. One of the services of Denel Asia is to sell products to Asia.
The family also came under the spotlight over their indirect R2 billion purchase of a former Glencore mine, Optimum Coal. However, their nightmares got intensified after several of SA’s banks severed ties with the family.
And this could be the last straw that broke the camel’s back, which led to the family’s long-awaited exit from the rainbow nation. Meanwhile, political analysts in the country have dubbed the business family ‘Amateurs’.
Speaking on Thursday, a political analyst, Dr Somadoda Fikeni said the family got carried away with their opportune closeness to Zuma and failed to tread with caution in the midst of their temporal stardom.
He said,”The Guptas, it’s their amateurish, grotesque, in your face, corrosive approach. They became way too excited about their proximity to the president and they found a president who himself has always gone from one period of insolvency to another in the middle of a big family.”