A report in the City Press claims that that Gupta brothers, Ajay and Atul, have left South Africa for Dubai.
The paper claims that the brothers took off in a private aircraft late on Thursday night from Lanseria Airport – ‘likely for good as they had ‘enough luggage for 20 people’.
The two brothers have resigned all their their directorships, while the City Press claims that their shareholdings are likely to be put up for sale – citing family sources.
“The entire family is checking out,” said one.
Earlier in March, Africa Confidential reported that the Gupta brothers were in the process of leaving South Africa for good, due to the surrounding political wave against them.
At the time, the Gupta’s investment channel, Oakbay Investments, categorically denied that the family was going anywhere, threatening legal action against all publications that reported as such.
However the last straw for the family came when all major South African banks and other financial institutions in the country started dropping the family, because of the politics surrounding them.
KPMG, Sasfin and Absa started the wave, followed by FNB and Nedbank later. According to sources within the family’s business, it’s impossible to do business in South Africa without the support of the banks, and so for the sake of the businesses and the employees, the family had to go.
“City Press has learnt that he lives in the exclusive Emirates Hills estate, where the
lowest-priced home on sale on property website Bayut.com is an R11 million threebedroom cluster.”
The paper claimed that the most expensive – at R714 million – is a fully furnished mansion with six bedroom suites, a home cinema, skyline views and rooms for maids, drivers and watchmen.
Guptas under fire
The Gupta family has come under increased scrutiny in recent months, following allegations that the family was attempting to capture the state through business relationships with the president.
In February, deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas blew the lid on the saga by claiming that the Gupta family had met with him, promising him the role of finance minister, if he fell in line with the family’s business goals.
This allegedly took place before President Zuma unexpectedly fired former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, sending the South African economy into a tailspin, wiping as much as R500 billion from the GDP.
The family has denied all allegations, claiming that they are victim to political in-fighting within the ANC.
Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema recently claimed that president Jacob Zuma visited the United Arab Emirates to drop off R6 billion belonging to the Guptas.
“Zuma was in UAE recently in Dubai. That was not an official visit, it was a personal one. Zuma took money to UAE. That is where they are dumping money. The Guptas have taken R6 billion to Dubai,” Malema told reporters at a recent press conference.
According to Oakbay CEO Nazeem Howa, the Guptas are known friends of the president and other senior politicians, and have a keen, active interest in politics.
Read the full article in the Sunday 10 April, 2016 edition of the City Press.