`Gupta Leaks’ Emails Set to Show Family’s South Africa Influence

JOHANNESBURG (Capital Markets in Africa) – Two South African news organizations plan to publish a series of stories about the influence of the Gupta family in the country after they obtained thousands of emails they say exposes dealings that allegedly include influence over government and state company decisions.

Scorpio, the investigative unit of the Daily Maverick, and the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism have access to as many as 200,000 emails and other documents about the work of the Guptas, who are friends of President Jacob Zuma, according to an editorial published on the Johannesburg-based Daily Maverick website.

A study by eight leading academics from four of the nation’s top universities released last week found that Zuma and his allies, including members of the Gupta family who are in business with his son, had carried out “a silent coup” that had enabled them to raid state assets and reap billions of rand from government contracts. Zuma and the Guptas have previously denied such allegations.

“This information is both too dangerous and too important not to share,” Stefaans Brummer, Sam Sole and Branco Brkic said in the editorial on Thursday. They have “placed the full Gupta Leaks in the care of an offshore organization which will load it to a secure platform, from where it will soon be accessible to many bona-fide journalists.”

Brummer and Sole run amaBhungane, while Brkic is founder of the Daily Maverick.

Protect Sources
The organizations chose not to publish the information previously to protect their sources, they said.

“Our plan had been to research thoroughly, for months if needed be, to get a sizable proportion of the really important stories ready before first publication,” Brummer, Sole and Brkic said. “That way, should there have been any attempt to stop us after first publication, we could have put it all out at once.”

Zuma this weekend survived a bid by some members of the ruling African National Congress’s top leadership to order his removal from office. The Sunday Times and City Press reported that the Guptas had aided Zuma’s efforts to acquire residency in the United Arab Emirates, and that they exerted undue influence over cabinet ministers and the management and boards of several state-owned companies. The newspapers cited some of the leaked emails that are also in Scorpio and amaBhungane’s possession. 

Gary Naidoo, a spokesman for the Gupta family, couldn’t immediately comment when contacted by phone and asked for questions to be sent by email. He didn’t immediately respond to the email.

Source: Bloomberg Business News


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