Gupta UAE

(Photo by Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi)

The Guptas are back, but not everyone’s happy to see them

The controversial Gupta family might find their reception somewhat frostier than they’re used to…

Gupta UAE

(Photo by Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi)

They’re back, but according to the family’s spokesperson Gary Naidoo, the family’s relationship with president Zuma is somewhat strained as of late.

Back in April the family packed their bags and headed for Dubai – where, according to the EFF’s Julius Malema, Zuma himself had smuggled R6 billion for the Guptas – following a string of accusations around state capture, backed up by prominent ANC members.

The timing of their exit happened almost exactly as Malema had predicted it would, leading to many media outlets labelling it as an escape; the family has, however, rubbished this at every opportunity.

The family’s close proximity to the president has come under increasing scrutiny and it doesn’t look like that’ll ease up anytime soon, what with the Public Protector’s office asking for funds to investigate their involvement in several state scandals.

Following the accusations against the family, KPMG, Sasfin, ABSA and FNB distanced themselves from Oakbay Investments, owned by the Guptas and Zuma’s son Duduzane. Both resigned from Oakbay in an attempt to salvage what reputation was left, but alas.

Naidoo said that the family had merely gone to a wedding, which is why they were gone for two months.

 “The media made mention of the Gupta family leaving the country,” he said.

“One of the sons of the Gupta family was getting married and the reason for them being out of the country was for the wedding.”

“They’ve subsequently come back to the country…They’re very much South Africans and they continue to stay South Africans.” Naidoo said.

He added that the family had been taking a lot of flack, with their children suffering verbal abuse at school. Naidoo sad that, while the family remains buddies with president Zuma, it had become increasingly difficult to engage with the Zumas ‘as friends’.

 “It doesn’t help with media reports tainting the relationship and throwing out wild accusations,” Naidoo said.

He added that the Guptas are here to stay and want to get on with their business.