Oakbay writes to Presidency, ministers about possibility of job losses

2016-04-09 13:01
Oakbay chair Atul Gupta and President Jacob Zuma at a Protea vs India T20 cricket match in Johannesburg in 2012. (Photo: GCIS)

Oakbay chair Atul Gupta and President Jacob Zuma at a Protea vs India T20 cricket match in Johannesburg in 2012. (Photo: GCIS)

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2016-04-01 11:26

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Johannesburg - Oakbay Investments [JSE:ORL] has written to government to plead for an intervention following the closure of the companies bank accounts and the withdrawal of shareholders, the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane, from the company.

In an interview with CNN, chief executive of Oakbay Investments, Nazeem Howa said he had on Friday morning written to several ministries.

"I did indeed write letters this morning to the Presidency, the minister of finance who governs the banking sector, to the minister of labour, to warn of the imminent possibility of job losses and to the minister of mining because I think we supply a strategic supply of Eskom, the power supplier, and that would be at risk if we had to go out of business," Howa told CNN.

"But our appeal was really on behalf of our staff because they have put heart and soul into our business and it is really not fair that an attack on us and our shareholder should affect [them]," he added.

Howa said the company could have the difficulty of paying around 4 500 of its staff after the company's auditor KPMG, their banks FNB and Absa and their sponsor Sasfin Capital all cut ties with the Guptas in March.

READ: Guptas and Duduzane Zuma resign from Oakbay


"We are in the process of closing another transaction which will double that number. And our concern is on the well-being of the staff and their families and you know that could number up to 60 or 70 000 people," he said.

He added that the Gupta's decision to withdraw from the company was not an easy one.

"... Yes indeed, after we announced the fact that the shareholder was stepping  back, it was a very tough decision for the shareholder, something they have built they will have to step away from," Howa said.

This Gupta family, which owns Oakbay, includes Atul, Ajay, Chetali, Rajesh "Tony", Arti and Varun Gupta.

Ajay and Atul were the co-chairs of Oakbay Investments, while Atul was the chair of Oakbay Resources and Energy. Varun Gupta was the CEO of Oakbay Resources and Energy, while Duduzane Zuma was a director of Shiva Uranium, Fin24 reported.

The Gupta's have come under increasing pressure due to allegations that they influenced President Jacob Zuma's appointment of Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and former finance minister Des van Rooyen, as well as offering ministerial posts to deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.

The allegations are that in return for these positions, these ministers would ensure the Guptas received government business and contracts, resulting in "state capture".

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Read more on:    oakbay investments  |  jacob zuma  |  companies

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