Johannesburg – A trail of emails between the Gupta family and their employees has blown the lid off how they have managed to do business with government, ingratiate themselves with senior officials, and go so far as to help move President Jacob Zuma and his family to Dubai.
The emails, obtained by City Press this week, also reveal how the Guptas seduced a number of senior state actors in their bid to capture government departments and state-owned entities.
The emails include:
- A draft letter from Zuma to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in which he asks for “patronage” in his bid to “make the UAE a second home”;
- How the Guptas seduced cabinet ministers and CEOs of State Owned Companies with opulent hotel stays and chauffeur-driven trips in luxury cars to their home in the exclusive Dubai suburb of Emirates Hills, where they bought a R445m mansion;
- How two months before Zuma appointed him Minerals Resources Minister, Mosebenzi Zwane’s CV was sent to the Guptas for their “consideration”;
- The identities of the other passengers, besides Zwane, who were on the Guptas’ private jet when they took Zwane with them to convince Glencore boss Ivor Glassenberg to sell them the Optimum coal mine;
- That in March 2016, British public relations firm Bell Pottinger, whom the Guptas had hired to clean up their image, had prepared a press release which would have implicated former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas in receiving bribes and other benefits such as flights upgrades and luxury hotel rooms from a South African businessman; and that
- The Guptas lobbied Zuma to arrange that the June 2015 departure of their guest, for Mauritius, should be through Fireblade Aviation, a luxury terminal at OR Tambo International Airport, owned by the Oppenheimer family.
* For more details on this developing story, read City Press and News24 on Sunday.