Gupta mining boss JP Arora gunned down

2018-12-03 11:04
JP Arora is seen at the holiday resort in this image from social media. (Facebook, file)

JP Arora is seen at the holiday resort in this image from social media. (Facebook, file)

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The CEO of Gupta-owned JIC Mining, JP Arora, was killed in a shooting on New Road in Midrand on Saturday night, police have confirmed.

SAPS spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele said he could not confirm reports of Arora's car being sprayed with bullets.

News24 has learned that Arora was returning from the airport, where he had picked up a passenger from an international flight.

Reliable sources with knowledge of the incident said that Arora was shot once in the head.

Labour issues

Makhubele could only confirm that Arora was wounded in the upper body.

"He managed to drive some distance on New Road, and came to a stop near the Engen garage," Makhubele said.

Speculation about the killing is already pointing to labour issues surrounding the liquidation of Westdawn Investment - which traded as JIC Mining - a source said.

The company technically has no employees of its own, but acted as a labour broker between the Gupta-owned Optimum Coal Mine and Sethemba and Sabelo Coal - two other Gupta-linked mining companies, both subsidiaries of JIC.

The net effect of the liquidation of Westdawn/JIC resulted in job losses for around 450 workers, most of whom worked as underground miners at Optimum.

Three hundred of these workers spent most of last week protesting outside of Optimum. They have not been paid for at least two months, News24 understands.

On Monday morning, the business rescue practitioners currently appointed to oversee eight Gupta companies in February this year, including Optimum, expressed their shock at the shooting.

"Our sincere condolences go out to Mr Arora's family, his loved ones and his colleagues," the BRP's short statement read.

"We are gravely concerned about this tragic turn of events and are putting immediate measures in place to tighten security at Optimum Coal Mine so as to ensure that the safety and security of all the mine's employees are not compromised."

More to follow.

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