Bags “bulging” with cash and visits several times a week to “Number One” are just some of the allegations made by former bodyguards for the notorious Gupta family, a report stated on Friday.
One former guard told the Mail & Guardianthere would be two vehicles used in the visit to President Jacob Zuma, sometimes at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria, and that Ajay Gupta would usually stay for about 30 minutes to an hour.
While one of the former security detail described Ajay as an “always kind” employer, another said that people in their team could be fired “on the spot if they [the Guptas] got mad”.
The hours and conditions the guards allegedly worked in were unbearable, they told the newspaper.
But it was not only Zuma with whom the Guptas had meetings or social visits – IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi admitted to having lunch earlier this year at their Saxonworld residence while SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng was said to be a regular visitor.
Another strange occurrence the former guards noted was that bags stuffed full of cold hard cash would be transported from one place to another. They claim that one time they picked up two heavy boxes on the highway across from the Guptas’ Sahara company.
Leaving on a jet plane
One leather satchel of cash was said to have been left in Motsoeneng’s car, a claim he told the M&G was pure nonsense.
Atul and his brother Ajay, together with one of their wives and five of their assistants, had apparently left South Africa for Dubai on April 7, City Press reported. By April 11, their private jet had landed near Nakur, north of New Delhi in India, News24 found.
This is about 30km from the Gupta family hometown of Saharanpur, a city in northern India.
The family has been making headlines these last few months over claims that they had offered various jobs in Zuma’s Cabinet to politicians.
The first of these was Vytjie Mentor and days later Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas claimed the Guptas had offered him the job of his former senior Nhlenhle Nene. The family denied the allegations.
What is known to be true, as reported by Fin24, is that the family has been heavily involved in business with state-owned enterprises such as Eskom to whom it supplies coal.
In addition to this, the president’s 33-year-old son Duduzane has gone in 11 years from a trainee at the Guptas’ Sahara Computers to a shareholder in several of their companies.
One of Zuma’s wives used to work for Gupta-controlled JIC Mining Services, the engineering contractor, while his daughter, Duduzile, was a director at Sahara.
Source: Business Tech