first_imgAn entrance to the ANN7 Television and The New Age newspaper offices, owned by the Gupta family, is seen in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.ReutersThe embattled Gupta family – a clan of Indian-born businessmen – have found itself in the midst of a fresh turmoil following the accusations of corruption links to South Africa’s Jacob Zuma.The controversial Gupta family is known to wield substantial influence in South Africa through its close ties with Zuma, who resigned from the presidency after intense pressure from his own party on Thursday.Who are the Guptas?The Gupta family had its origins in Saharanpur, a small industrial town in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.Their father, Shiv Kumar Gupta, was a trader in spices and soapstone powders. The three boys, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, were encouraged to explore the world and that’s how their South African journey began in 1993.As South Africa opened up to foreign investment, the Guptas built a sprawling empire involved in computers, mining, media, technology and engineering.They later launched the New Age, a pro-Zumma newspaper, in 2010 and a news channel ANN7 in 2013.By then the trio had developed close ties with the then ruling African National Congress (ANC) party focussing particularly on Zuma, well before he became president in 2009.What ties does Guptas share with Zuma?The Guptas share a close bond with the family of Zuma. Since the early 1990s, the Guptas have hired members of Zuma’s family, including the president’s son, Duduzane, his twin sister, Duduzile, and Bongi Ngema-Zuma, one of Zuma’s four wives.Misuse of power?Reports suggest Gupta brothers were using their power to influence political decisions and Nhlanhla Nene was one such example.Nene, who lost his job as finance minister in December 2015, was becoming a hindrance for the Guptas. Later Nene’s deputy Mcebisi Jonas was summoned to the Gupta family estate, where he met the eldest Gupta brother Ajay.The Gupta family was happy to transfer 600 million rand into Jonas’s bank account if he was willing to take over the top treasury post, according to news reports.The Gupta family has, however, denied ever meeting Jonas.According to Bloomberg, Pravin Gordhan, who later filled the treasury role, had resisted a nuclear deal between South Africa and Russia, which was being pushed by Zuma after the Gupta family’s investment company borrowed about 250 million rand from a state bank to buy a South African uranium mine.What’s next?Earlier on Wednesday, police raided on the Johannesburg home of the wealthy Gupta family.Local media reported that Ajay Gupta, the eldest of the siblings, and one or two of the family’s associates were officially under arrest.They were scheduled to appear before a South African court on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.last_img

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