More trails of Guptas leaked emails seem to be resurfacing of recent. The latest reveals that the wealthy family planned to buy a social grant bank, Gindrod.
According to the leaked emails and documents, the Gupta family contemplated taking over Grindrod Bank, which the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) use to provide social grants payments to millions of people.
The Family through South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) wanted to buy the Grindrod bank in November 2014, Sunday Times reported on Wednesday.
It also reported that that the plans to buy the bank was facilitated by a shareholder of Grindrod, Vunani Capital after a bid by Bidvest was entered but had not yet been signed.
The email titled “Grindrod Bank (Interest from Oakbay Investments)” and dated 19 November 2014‚ had it that Vim Rajbansi of Oakbay Investments’ Group Business Development told Tony Gupta that an exclusive memorandum of understanding which Bidvest entered into with Grindrod had ended with no deal being concluded.
Rajbansi also stated that she was considering a letter of interest “to see if we can pick this up at the right price”. She added that Vunani Capital had offered to facilitate the sale “because of their close relationship”.
The emails further noted that since then, Oakbay tried to bid for 60% of U Bank, a bank which provides banking services to miners. This required the sign-off of the Reserve Bank.
“With Grindrod Bank being opened there are now two banking licences available. This makes the process competitive for us. “The high publicity surrounding the SASAA I-Net [presumably Net-1] contract in the Grindrod Bank became a hurdle for Bidvest but not necessarily the case for us. [sic] She added
“In our Risk Assessment agreed that Government will license Postbank to provide services and Grindrod will have to put a discount on this. We feel these factors make the deal highly negotiable in our favour. [sic]”
Rajbansi said their aim was to acquire a banking licence through a “neat and clean structure”.
“We can do a neat deal with Grindrod … at less than half the price.”
She told the Guptas that if this was “alright” with him she would directly approach Grindrod CEO.
In reply to the email, Ajay Gupta told her to sign an official expression of interest but the Guptas missed out when Bidvest signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding.
In what seemed to be a confirmation of the alleged bank purchase, Vunani Capital head Mark Anderson said that Oakbay had approached the company for an introduction to Grindrod.
He, however, stated that there was no interest in a meeting at the time.
“Public records clearly show that there was no facilitation or sale of this kind,” he said.
The latest leaked email will mark one of the numerous emails exposing the wealthy South African – Indian family this month.
Among other reports about the family’s link with top SA government officials was the case of President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma who reportedly bought an apartment worth nearly R18-million at the iconic skyscraper Burj Khalifa building in Dubai two years ago.
Dunduzane who is a shareholder in many Gupta-owned companies‚ bought the Dubai property in 2015 with a substantial help from the Guptas and their associate.
This, according to the reports, came a while after it appeared that the Zuma family was seeking residency in the United Arab Emirates.
Meanwhile, the Guptas has maintained that they have done nothing wrong and that they want to know how emails showing they influenced ministers ended up being published.
The family’s attorney Gert van der Merwe said they believe these reports are what they call fake news and they want copies of the emails and the source of them.
They say it’s only then that they will be able to properly respond, he said.
Latest leaked email of South Africa’s wealthy family Guptas wanted to buy Grenold bank usually used to pay to millions of people