In our first exposé from the #GuptaLeaks, we showed how president Jacob Zuma’s friends and their associates were diverting billions of rand from Transnet’s purchase of locomotives to their offshore accounts.
The cache of leaked Gupta emails supported claims made in an anonymous report earlier in 2017 that controversial UK PR firm Bell Pottinger attempted to salvage the reputations of the Gupta and Zuma families by portraying them as victims of a racist backlash by “white monopoly capital”.
In this article, the #GuptaLeaks exposed the extent to which Matshela Koko – once tipped to become Eskom chief executive – appeared to have been captured by the Guptas.
Duduzane Zuma, the son of then president Jacob Zuma, emerged from the #GuptaLeaks as kept and captured by the Gupta family, serving as a key channel for influence on official decision-making, including his father’s.
The #GuptaLeaks unravelled four years worth of denials by the Gupta spin machine over the family’s involvement in the controversial dairy project at Vrede in the Free State. Dozens of e-mails, invoices and other documents showed the family had significant control over the scheme – and sucked some R84-million to a company they controlled in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The #GuptaLeaks revealed that the Free State provincial government largely picked up the tab for the “event of the millennium”, as it was described by a guest, KPMG Africa then-chief executive Moses Kgosana: the 2013 Sun City nuptials of the Guptas’ niece, Vega.
In 2015, as Brian Molefe and his key lieutenant Anoj Singh moved across to Eskom, the Guptas turned their attention to the power utility’s R40-billion primary energy budget. The feast was about to begin.
To clinch Transnet business, business software giant SAP agreed to pay 10% “sales commission” to a company controlled by the Guptas. The evidence suggests the company – a little-known outpost of the Gupta empire – was deliberately interposed to obscure Gupta involvement and to launder the proceeds to them.
The #GuptaLeaks showed that the Guptas tried to sell Denel’s intellectual property to India, while watering the state arms company’s stake down by half. Acting as middlemen, they took the biggest stake for themselves and cut in a powerful Indian tycoon – close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi – for his “influence”.
The #GuptaLeaks revealed new evidence that immigration officials may have been captured by the Guptas – including two who were specially positioned in India by Malusi Gigaba’s office when he was home affairs minister.
E-mails showed how senior Gupta employee Ashu Chawla repeatedly asked these two and other officials to fast-track visas to benefit Gupta businesses as they moved dozens of employees, associates and family members between South Africa, India and Dubai.