Transnet – File Photo

New report reveals how company passed R600m to Gupta fronts

The Gupta family and its various sub companies are now well known for their role in state capture at SA’s state-owned enterprises.


Transnet – File Photo

While the Hawks may be finalising an extradition deal with the UAE to bring the Guptas before South African courts, South Africans have just got another reminder of why. With Transnet and other state-owned enterprises in a disastrous state, a new report shows how the Gupta fronts managed to secure R600m

Gupta fronts: Rolling in the dough

Investigative journalism group amaBhungane have revealed their latest investigation looking into the smoky world of Gupta number one henchmen Salim Essa and the front companies that managed to extract funds out of state entities.

In the new report, records show that Regiments Capital passed “more than half’ of its consulting fees from Transnet, SAA and Denel contracts to Essa and Gupta fronts.

It all seemed to start in 2013 as Regiments Capital managed to begin working with Transnet. Fast forward by 12 months and the firm was suddenly raking in annual R400m consulting fees.

While it was one of the few black-owned firms going toe to toe in the environment, the Guptas and Essa were behind the scenes orchestrating things and taking half the income.

So where did the R600m come from? Records seen by amaBhungane suggest that it came from consulting contracts with Transnet, a Transnet pension fund. South African Airways, Denel and of course, the recently “shut down but set to re-open” SA Express.

“For three years, Regiments was the Trojan horse that carried Essa and the Guptas into the cash vaults of state-owned entities.” amaBhungane’s Susan Comrie writes.

In return for being utilised by the Guptas Regiments would obviously make a lot of money Right? Well, not when you’re in bed with the Guptas.

After Regiments bosses refused to sell the Guptas and Essa a stake in 2015, Essa immediately worked to shut down their network of deals. Instead, he launched Trillian Capital Partners, a name you would have definitely heard before if you’ve followed the State Capture saga.

After Regiments was introduced by a middle-man to Essa in 2012, the company went on to land deals worth roughly R1 billion across state-owned entities. Just for making that introduction, the middle-man reportedly received a 5% stake of all deals negotiated by Essa.

When you’re rich, making more money seems almost way too easy.

You can read the full amaBhungane report on Daily Maverick here.