You are on page 1of 1

The Gupta empire

The Gupta family arrived in SA in
1993 and has built a multibillionrand empire in computers, mining,
media and engineering. Depending
on who you speak to, they’re either a
glowing success story of post-1994
SA or the beneficiaries of their
political connections.
They’ve raised the ire of both the
SA Communist Party and the
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF),
and Julius Malema has called on
them to leave the country, despite
the fact that they are SA citizens.
The fact that the president’s son
Duduzane Zuma stands to benefit
from virtually all of their major
government deals has led many to
question whether political
connections have been the real key
to their success.
Gupta family spokesperson
Haranath Ghosh disputes this:
‘Oakbay Investments, as the family
vehicle, has less than 1% of its
revenue (be that directly or
indirectly) from state contracts.
‘As such, it is ridiculous to suggest
that any benefits are unduly derived
from state contracts.’ Although their
empire, run from their luxury
Saxonwold compound, remains
opaque, SUSAN COMRIE has pieced
together a rough picture of their
connections to the state

These companies
all feature the
Guptas as directors:
302 Spur Road Bealieu Midrand
Aeon Diamonds
Afripalm Horizons
Afripalm Managed Services
Annex Distribution
Confident Concept
Correct Marketing
Correction Computers
CRCC Afripalm Construction
Cyret Technologies
Gemini Moon Trading 254
Infinity Media Networks
Islandsite Investments 180
Islandsite Investments 255
Izak & Iris Investments
JIC Engineering Services
JIC Mining Services Africa
JIC Mining Services Asia
Kalem Property Holdings
Karibu Hospitality
L & L Bloch Properties
Mabengela Investments
Moetapele Projects
Oakbay Investments
Oakbay Resources & Energy
Sahara Computers
Sahara Computers (Cape)
Sahara Computers (Dbn)
Sahara Consumables
Sahara Distribution
Sahara Holdings
Sahara Media Holdings
Sahara Press
Shiva Uranium
Shiva’s Computer World
Stonevest 16
Sunzi Equity Investments
Surya Crushers
Thelo Cement
Thelo Investments
TNA Media
Uni-Africa Holdings
Veriana Property Holdings
Westdawn Investments
Woodlane Consortium
Yogindera Impex

Brian Molefe, CEO of Eskom, formerly CEO of Transnet

Ace Magashule, Free State premier

π Tshepiso Magashule, Ace’s
son, worked for Mabengela
Investments, the investmentt
vehicle jointly owned by
Rajesh Gupta and Duduzane
π The premier’s legal adviser
allegedly drew up the
controversial R342 million
dairy farm contract between
the Free State department of
agriculture and the Estina
dairy project – the project was
a disaster
‘There is no way the Guptas can run me. The Guptas
are citizens of this country like any other person, and
there is nothing wrong with government doing
business with them.’
– Magashule to the Mail & Guardian (Feb 18 2016)

π When Molefe was appointed Transnet CEO, there were suggestions that it was
because he was connected to the Guptas
‘I submitted my CV like any other candidate and went for an interview. The talk
about me being linked to the Gupta family is baffling … The success of the Gupta
family has stoked xenophobic fear and yet there is no evidence that they have
used their influence inappropriately. It is all innuendo and suggestion.’
– Molefe to Business Day (Mar 3 2011)
π Since being appointed Eskom CEO, it has been alleged that he strong-armed
Glencore into selling Optimum Coal to the Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources &
Exploration. If the deal is approved, it will mean various Gupta-linked companies
wi have four coal-supply contracts with Eskom
‘They’re very friendly people; they invite everybody to their Diwali gathering and so on; they invite the who’s
who of South Africa, like any other family business in South Africa. Like the Oppenheimers and any other big
families in South Africa … These families that have wealth and have business always have influence over
government, they have a relationship with government … I have met [the Guptas]. They tried to do a
transaction or two when I was at the [Public Investment Corporation], but we never concluded anything.’
– Molefe to Talk Radio 702 (Feb 23 2016)

Mosebenzi Zwane, mineral resources

David ‘Des’ van Rooyen, minister of
cooperative governance and traditional
affairs (Cogta), briefly minister of finance

π Zwane’s promotion to
mining minister in
September last year took
everyone by surprise,
including members of
Zuma’s own Cabinet.
Zwane arrived with
precious little experience
in mining, but as MEC for
agriculture in the Free
State, he played a role in
the Estina dairy project
and allegedly provided
government cover for one of the Guptas’ wedding
guests, allowing them to land at Waterkloof Air Force
Base. Since becoming the minister, he became
embroiled in Tegeta’s contentious deal to buy
Optimum Coal from Glencore after he travelled to
Zurich with a delegation from Oakbay Resources. He
denies interfering in the deal

Ajay Gupta

Eldest brother

Shivani Gupta

The Gupta family tree

Atul Gupta

Nephew of Atul

The reason the Guptas so often make
headlines is because they’re often
linked to deals through their
connection to various associates.
In 2012, the Free State government
agreed to bankroll the building of a
megadairy outside Vrede. A littleknown company, Estina, was granted
4 400 hectares of free land from
government and funding of
R342 million, despite having no track
record in dairy farming. Although
there was no direct link to the Guptas,
one of their companies, Linkway, did
consulting work for the dairy. The
Guptas denied any involvement and
the project was cancelled in 2014
following a Treasury investigation.
Last year, auditors for telecoms
giant Neotel red-flagged R92 million
in payments to an unknown letterbox
company called Homix IT.
The payments were allegedly to
secure R2 billion in contracts to
Transnet. The involvement of Transnet
and former Linkway director Ashok
Narayan set off alarm bells, even
though there was no direct link to the

Chetali Gupta

Middle brother

Rajesh Gupta

Married to Atul

Arti Gupta

Youngest brother

Married to Rajesh

The Guptas’ shareholding
VR Laser





Transnet, Prasa and Denel


Icasa and SOEs

The Guptas and Zuma are poised to cash in on
Transnet’s mega R50 billion locomotive tender
through a minority stake in VR Laser. The tender for
1 064 locomotives was awarded to four international
manufacturers, but Oakbay has boasted how a new
welding certification will allow them ‘to actively
pursue fabrication work for the railway industry, in
particular for the Transnet 1 064 loco project’ as well
as other locomotive tenders for Transnet and Prasa.
Last month, state arms company Denel announced
a joint venture with VR Laser, called Denel Asia.
The joint venture has, however, hit problems, as
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has put
strict preconditions in place before she will give her
approval, including conducting a due diligence on VR
Laser to determine what they will bring to the table

The Guptas landed their first Eskom
coal contract in 2015, delivering
2.4 million tons of coal a year to the
Majuba Power Station – a deal
estimated to be worth R4 billion. Last
month, shareholders gave approval for
this asset to be sold to Shiva Uranium
before Tegeta acquires the Optimum
Coal assets from Glencore.
This R2.15 billion deal will give Tegeta
another three Eskom coal contracts,
although two of these are short term.
Tegeta is jointly owned by the Guptas’
Oakbay Investments and Mabengela
Investments, which is owned by Rajesh
Gupta and Duduzane Zuma

In 2010, the Guptas launched their
media empire with the daily newspaper
The New Age. It emerged that New Age
Business Breakfasts were being
bankrolled by various state-owned
enterprises, including Telkom, Transnet
and Eskom. Between 2011 and 2015,
SAA bought 5.927 million copies of The
New Age, costing taxpayers R9.4 million.
The Guptas’ 24-hour news channel,
ANN7, is currently in line for a lucrative
Icasa free-to-air TV licence, which
would allow them to go head-to-head
with the SABC, and Infinity Media
Network, which owns ANN7, is owned
by, among others, the Guptas’ Oakbay
Investments and the Gupta-Zumaowned Mabengela Investments

Shiva Uranium




Infinity Media

Oakbay Resources
& Energy


A world of murky

π The younger Zuma
is a beneficiary of
virtually all of the
Guptas’ major
contracts with the
state, and a
co-director with
various members of
the Gupta family in
nine different
companies. In
addition to this, First
Lady Bongi
Ngema-Zuma worked
d as a communications officer
for the Gupta’s JIC Mining and Duduzane’s
twin-sister, Duduzile, was a director of the Gupta’s
Sahara Computers. Duduzane has worked for the
Gupta group of companies for more than 10 years,
starting as a trainee and working his way up to be
a senior executive

π It was alleged that
the two advisers who
arrived with Van Rooyen
on his first day at
Treasury were linked to
the Guptas. Ian Whitley
and Mohamed Bobat
were transferred to
Cogta with Van Rooyen.
They both deny any
connection to the Guptas
‘The fact that I am
Indian does not mean
we are related.’
– Bobat (Feb 17 2016)

Varun Gupta

Married to Ajay

Duduzane Zuma, son of President
Jacob Zuma



Lexshell 702

Gemini Moon
Trading 254 (Directors:
Rajesh Gupta and
Duduzane Zuma)


Tegeta Resources
& Exploration







IDC and nuclear
The Guptas, along with Duduzane Zuma,
acquired their first major mining asset in
2010 when they bought Shiva Uranium.
The Klerksdorp mine cost them R270
million, mostly funded by a R250 million
loan from the Industrial Development
Corporation (IDC). The mine has
struggled to repay the IDC loan – in 2014
the IDC generously converted R256
million of the loan into a 3.57% equity
stake in Oakbay Resources & Energy.
In August they still owed the IDC
R119.8 million, but it may allow them to
repay the loan through a uranium
off-take agreement rather than cash.
Parent company Oakbay has made no
secret of the fact that they want to
position themselves to supply uranium to
the 9 600-megawatt nuclear build






Investments 180

Atul Gupta

Chetali Gupta

Rajesh Gupta

Duduzane Zuma





Atul Gupta

Chetali Gupta

Rajesh Gupta

Arti Gupta

Investments 255



Related Interests