A foreign family has bought South Africa. They run it as a family concern, instructing the President which Ministers to hire or fire. Originally from India, most of the Guptas are now South African citizens: “naturalised” after their pliant Minister overruled his most senior official.
The Guptas summon Ministers to their home and scream crudely at bureaucrats. Their ever-obliging Minister of Mines has just tabled legislation ostensibly to force traditionally white mining companies to include more black partners; a clause adds that this includes naturalised Indians who will be considered “black” and so disadvantaged by apartheid.
A recent report by an alliance of church leaders, with devastating detail compiled by academics,
was titled: Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is being stolen. It concludes that the Gupta/Zuma axis has engineered “a silent coup”. Despite well documented evidence of their crookery there’s not a single charge against them. Instead police and prosecutors have tried to frame those who oppose them, including Cabinet Ministers who have blocked Gupta efforts at extortion. When the phoney charges against an honest Minister collapsed he was fired and a Gupta sponsored hack appointed in his place. The Guptas, with their lieutenant Jacob Zuma, run a parallel state.
Thank goodness for leaks. Thousands of emails from the Guptas and their hirelings have come to light. There’s barely an area of public life this family has not poisoned. Among many criminal activities, these emails reveal that CVs of potential Ministers are sent directly to them.
Correspondence from the former Minister of Finance and his deputy, who had blocked their nefarious schemes, illegally landed in their in-tray. The Gutpas or their employees also write the speeches for some senior leaders of the African National Congress (ANC), as well as for Zuma’s son Duduzane, whom they have made very, very rich.
So far as we know they don’t yet control the army or navy. The Guptas do have sway over our air force, though, as in 2013 they landed a commercial jet at the country’s most secure air force base: a seditious act with no consequences for the family. More sinister, they appear to enjoy the services of our state security agencies. The leaked emails reveal that vocal critics of Gupta knavery were spied on and covertly photographed, while the family possesses details about their adversaries normally only available to Ministries. Victims of this criminality include the CEO’s of banks which closed Gupta accounts after proof emerged of vast illegal exports of currency, and a prominent newspaper editor – who has also had his home surrounded by Gupta sponsored thugs.
The hundreds of Indian guests on the jetliner that landed at the air force base didn’t have to bother with customs. Police cars, lights flashing, escorted them to Sun City for a lavish wedding – which, it now emerges, was paid for with looted public funds. Following widespread outrage, Jacob Zuma’s chief of protocol took the fall and was dispatched abroad as an ambassador.
There he uses his diplomatic status to tout for business for … yup. In short, the Guptas have bought an entire country – with cash pillaged from the nation’s coffers.
That this family can taint so many ANC politicians is uniquely scandalous since the Guptas are so blatantly racist. At the Sun City wedding they insisted where possible that staff coming into contact with their guests should be white and that any African staff be made to clean themselves before serving guests. With such racism it’s not hard to guess the contempt which the Guptas must feel for our President or members of his family that they’ve subsidised.
Above all, I’d love to hear what they say in private about Zuma’s son, the “hired help” useful only to prise open state coffers and who they have transformed into a rand billionaire. These carpetbaggers have even bought Duduzane Zuma an outlandishly pricey and vulgar villa in Dubai, believed to be the Presidential plan B – so that if all goes wrong, the Zuma clan can flee the country in comfort.
Helping to create this sewer of deceit, an honourable mention must be made of that fine London PR company Bell Pottinger. Hired by the Gutpas at a princely month stipend to turn the heat away from the crooks and onto honest folk, the British firm employed the vilest of their vaunted “dark arts”. This has gone a long way towards destabilising our new democracy.
Perhaps one day, after the Guptas have been chased into exile, the Bellish Pottingers will end up as liveried lackeys in that crass palace in Dubai, with its gold taps, polishing up the Gupta memoirs while Jacob Zuma polishes the Guptas’ shoes. Demeaning? Nah. Well paid. After all, the cash will have been siphoned from our exchequer.