The Gupta family have reportedly been spying on some of South Africa’s top banking executives, their family members, a former cabinet minister, and a rival in a lucrative tender deal, according to the Sunday Times.
Chief among these are Absa CEO Maria Ramos and her husband, former finance minister Trevor Manuel; Rand Merchant Bank founders, GT Ferreira, Paul Harris and Laurie Dippenaar; and Investec CEO Stephen Koseff.
According to the emails, Ashu Chawla, a senior Gupta executive, is in possession of a spreadsheet documenting the identity numbers and international travel dates of these top executives.
Absa spokesman Songezo Zibi said Ramos had confirmed all the travel dates and her identity number, as noted in the spreadsheet.
In addition, a security expert confirmed to the paper that the level of detail contained in the document would was considered so confidential, “even law-enforcement agencies required a court order to access it.”
Ramos is reportedly seeking legal counsel on the matter.
The chairman of FirstRand, said that the existence of the spreadsheets confirmed his worst fears.
“The only way they could have obtained that is from home affairs. Now I have to ask, what is a private family’s enterprise doing with government information?”
When asked for comment, Department of Home Affairs spokesman David Hlabane indicated it was not the only entity where such information could be accessed and that travel agents would have information about their travel plans, not home affairs.
You can read the full article in today’s Sunday Times.