Oakbay Investments, the holding company for the Gupta family’s businesses in South Africa, on Friday strongly denied all reports that the Gupta brothers are leaving South Africa and relocating to Dubai.
But a report by the Africa Confidential says that three of the Gupta brothers are in the process of moving out of South Africa.
It cites sources within the ANC, saying that Ajay, Atul and Rejesh Gupta are in the process of moving to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
While the report remains speculative, the Gupta family and their business operations in South Africa have come under scrutiny in recent months, with calls for investigations into tender processes and their relationship with President Jacob Zuma.
EFF leader Julius Malema openly called for the Gupta family to leave the country, and to take their “criminal enterprises” with them.
Malema publicly banned Gupta-run media from EFF events, and said that the family should immediately disengage from all affairs, government, business and media in South Africa and leave the country.
The EFF is back in court on Friday to challenge an interdict won by the Guptas following the ban.
In late February, finance minister Pravin Gordhan joined the growing revolt against the family by cancelling a post-budget breakfast briefing held by the Gupta-run New Age newspaper.
The New Age’s breakfast meetings are widely seen as a waste of state money, as the events are sponsored by state-owned companies who fork over millions of rands to host the events.
Another Gupta-linked business that is currently face investigations include coal mining contracts with Eskom.
Journalist Denis Beckett argues that negativity around the Guptas comes from much speculation, and little fact.
“Their “perceived influence” comes from their “perceived links” in their “perceived role” in apparently a new version of the old press myth that if you say “alleged” enough you can’t be sued.
He noted that the family relocated to South Africa in 1993, committing itself to “a new patriotic fervour”. “It has paid R1.5 billion in tax; has “one of the world’s most respected”, though unnamed, auditors; employs 4,500; and can’t see why it’s attacked for making the highest offer for a troubled mine that supplies 1.3% of Eskom’s coal.”
What are your thoughts on the Guptas?