The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) flagged the Guptas’ dubious activities as far back as 2009, resulting in an investigation by South African intelligence agencies that concluded that the family was a threat to national security.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, former spy boss Gibson Njenje said that he was alarmed to learn about the scale of the Guptas’ involvement in former president Jacob Zuma’s first cabinet reshuffle in October 2010.
However, he (Njenje) was later forced out of the public service in 2011 by then security minister Siyabonga Cwele, who called the Gupta probe ‘irregular’.
Njenje, who headed up the National Intelligence Agency, told the Sunday Times he received a request from the CIA in 2009 wanting to know about the Guptas’ interest in uranium mining – as enriched uranium is used for both nuclear power generation and military nuclear weapons.
“The Americans wanted to know why the Guptas are interested in mining uranium and where they intend sending their product. Naturally we were interested as well,” said Njenje.
He added that their subsequent investigations made it clear what the Guptas were doing.
“In 2010 they started flexing their muscle and their links with the president.
“They were talking to ministers, directors-general and senior officials. From a state security point of view, we were trying to find out why this audacity. They were making an open show that they have a relationship with the president,” he said.
You can read the full story in today’s Sunday Times.