Gupta family to sell off businesses in South Africa

Gupta owned newspaper, The New Age, reports that the family will dispose of the stakes it holds in South African businesses before the end of the year in an effort to preserve jobs.

“Since our decision to step down from all executive and non-executive positions in all our South African business in April 2016, the local management team has grown our businesses from strength to strength, with turnover and profits showing good growth and more jobs created.

“As a family, we now believe that the time is right for us to exit our shareholding of the South African businesses which we believe will benefit our existing employees, and lead to further growth in the businesses,” the family said in a statement.

“As such, we announce today our intention to sell all of our shareholding in South Africa by the end of the year,” the Gupta family said.

“We believe that this decision is in the best interests of our business, the country and our colleagues,” the statement said.

It follows the resignation in April, of non-executive chairman Atul Gupta and chief executive officer Varun Gupta from Oakbay Resources.

The Gupta family warned at the time that as many as 7,500 employees at Oakbay Investments would lose their jobs after the country’s major banks closed their accounts with the firm.

Oakbay Resources is a major subsidiary of Oakbay Investments – the main investment channel for the Gupta family in South Africa.

The politically connected family has come under scrutiny after being accused of state capture, and for their relationship with president Jacob Zuma.

The Guptas have rejected numerous allegations that they influenced the appointment of ministers including those in the finance department.

News24 reported that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan allegedly told Treasury staff at a meeting on Friday that the Guptas were attacking him because of the work the department was doing.

Read: Gupta company bosses gang up on Gordhan live on radio

Gupta family spokesperson, Gary Naidoo, said in a statement that the family is disappointed by the comments.

“We have repeatedly pointed out that our family is a victim of a political campaign against it,” the statement reads.

The family said it believes that “narrative has been constructed” against them and accused media houses of contributing to a “flawed perception” of them.

In March, ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe called on politicians to come forward to provide evidence of an alleged attempt at state capture by the family.

He said he would politically protect anyone who came forward.

Mantashe later said that while eight people came forward relating to the allegations of state capture – only one person was willing to provide a written statement.

“A number of comrades came forward on alleged business influence on state but only one could make a written submission,” Mantashe said.

More on the Gupta family

Why the Guptas and Zuma’s son really quit Oakbay – DA

SA banks acted independently against the Guptas: report

Guptas have not ‘fled’ South Africa: Oakbay CEO

Gupta company asks Zuma for help: leaked letter

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Gupta family to sell off businesses in South Africa