South Africa

#GuptaLeaks, five years later

Ten revelations from the #GuptaLeaks that changed the course of SA

On 1 June 2017, Scorpio, Daily Maverick’s newly launched investigative unit, and amaBhungane, the independent investigative non-profit, started publishing stories from a trove of emails and a host of other documents several hundred gigabytes large. We called it the #GuptaLeaks and it changed the course of South Africa.

Guptas and associates score R5.3bn in locomotives kickbacks

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.

Bell Pottinger – spinner of a web for ‘pioneers of economic transformation’

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”.

Guptas pushed Eskom for R1.68bn prepayment

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, Kept and Captured

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.

Despite denials, Free State dairy farm was huge cash spinner for Guptas

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).

Read an excerpt from the Daily Maverick book, ‘We Have a Game Changer‘, on how the Guptaleaks came to be

The Dubai Laundromat – How millions milked from Free State government paid for Sun City wedding

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.

How Eskom was captured

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.

The #GuptaLeaks, five years later

Software giant SAP paid Gupta front R100-million “kickbacks” for state business

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.

 How the Guptas screwed Denel

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”.

Did Gigaba and officials grease Gupta gears?

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.



Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Johan Buys says:

    Have our chinese comrades forced the state-owned China Rail to pay back those R5b bribes plus interest plus a suitable 300% penalty? It is worth asking the Chinese embassy.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

Daily Maverick The Gathering 2024 banner

Daily Maverick has secured an esteemed speaker line-up...

to help make sense of Elections 2024.

Trevor Manuel, Prof Thuli Madonsela and Minister Ronald Lamola are among the latest panellists confirmed for Daily Maverick The Gathering Twenty Twenty-Four.

Join us, on Thurs 14 March 2024 at CTICC Cape Town or online wherever you are, for an event that will put the election in perspective.

Make your taxes work for you

Donate to Daily Maverick’s non-profit arm, the Scorpio Investigative Unit, by 29 February 2024 and you’ll qualify for a tax break.

We issue Section 18A tax certificates for all donations made to Daily Maverick. These can be presented to SARS for tax relief.

Make your donation today

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Otsile Nkadimeng - photo by Thom Pierce

A new community Actionist every week.

Meet the South Africans making a difference. Get Maverick Citizen in your inbox.