Hate speech directed towards us - Guptas say

2016-03-18 13:25

Johannesburg - The Gupta family laid bare their business dealings in a two page advertisement in their newspaper The New Age on Friday, in response to being blamed for "every calamity and misfortune that South Africa has faced".

''We have been quiet until now but given the recent xenophobic and hate speech directed towards us, now is the time to set the record straight,'' the family said.

The Gupta ad. (Screengrab, The New Age)

This comes after deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC caucus chair in Parliament Vytjie Mentor claimed that the Guptas had offered them top Cabinet positions.

Mentor went as far as suggesting that she had to agree to change an air route if she wanted to be Minister of Public Enterprises.

President Jacob Zuma told Parliament on Thursday that only he could appoint ministers and their deputies.

But since the controversial arrival of a Gupta wedding party at the Waterkloof Airforce Base in Tshwane in 2013, claims that the family has key government departments and Zuma under its thumb persist.

50% drop in profits

In point form, they explained in the centre-spread how Atul Gupta arrived in South Africa in 1993, and that by 2000 the whole family had settled here.

The business started out of a garage in Bedfordview with the first company Correct Marketing growing into Sahara Computers after buying Arrow Altech from industrialist Bill Venter.

What set them apart in the beginning was their pricing model, the spread explained. They focused on high turnover and low profits, unlike other companies who were doing the opposite at the time.

They stopped doing business with the government in 2005, leading to a 50% drop in profits, and resumed business with government in 2013. In all 1% of its business is with government, they claimed. 

They said the ''ground reality'' has been that in the 10 years that they have applied for 100 different mining licences, none were successful.

They have been turned down in approaches to buy Arcelor Mittal, Iscor (through the Industrial Development Corporation), Max Steel, Nedbank, U BANK, Wescoal and Universal Coal.


Its holding company Oakbay Investments' sectoral presences are in: 

--Mining: Oakbay Resources and Energy, Shiva Uranium, Black Edge, Westdawn (JIC), Tegeta Exploration and Resources;

--Engineering: VR Laser;

--ICT is: Sahara Computers, Sahara Systems, Sahara Consumables, Annex Distribution;

--Media: The New Age and ANN7;

--Investments/Property : Islandsite Investment and Confident Concepts.

It countered some of the claims against the company regarding business with government but did not refer directly to Zuma's son Duduzane, reportedly benefiting through Tegeta. 

They claimed: 

- JIC Mining Services has no government business;

- Shiva Uranium poising itself for South Africa's nuclear build is a myth because the life of the mine will be over before the South Africa is completed;

- The Shiva Uranium rights were purchased commercially, not through the Department of Mineral Resources;

- Tegeta Exploration and Resources supplies around 1% of Eskom's total requirement. If Tegeta gets a new Eskom contract this rises to around 6%. Tegeta currently has a short term contract to supply Arnot power station in Mpumalanga at half the price of Exxaro and at 15% of the volume;

- The New Age newspaper currently has 4% of national government advertising spend and 8% of total government spend (rural/urban);

- ANN7: Has 0.2% advertising support from government. 

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  gupta family  |  corruption  |  politics

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