Guptas Plan to Sell South African Assets as Soon as Possible

JOHANNESBURG (Capital Markets in Africa) – The Gupta family, who are friends of South African President Jacob Zuma and are in business with his son, said they remain intent on selling their business interests in the country after missing their target of completing the divestment last year.

“The Gupta family remains committed to disposing of its shareholdings in South Africa as soon as is practically possible, and discussions continue,” the family said in an e-mailed reply to questions late Wednesday. “The family looks forward to making further announcements when appropriate.”

In a report released Nov. 2, the nation’s graft ombudsman indicated Zuma may have allowed members of the Gupta family to influence cabinet appointments and the issuing of state contracts. Zuma denied wrongdoing and is challenging the report in court. The Guptas also denied that they had sought to exert undue political influence over the president and government and said they were the victims of a political smear campaign.

The family announced in August that they planned to sell their business interests in South Africa by year-end and they were in talks with prospective buyers. Former Oakbay Resources chief executive officerVarun Gupta and non-executive chairman Atul Gupta resigned from all group companies in April, while Duduzane Zuma, the president’s son, quit as a non-executive director of its subsidiary Shiva Uranium.

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