An influential Indian-origin family of business tycoons is at the centre of a political storm in South Africa over its ties with President Jacob Zuma, two years after a lavish wedding in the family had led to a similar uproar.
The Gupta brothers – Ajay, Atul and Rajesh – have been criticised for allegedly using their close business relations with Zuma and wielding undue influence to swing large corporate deals in sectors such as IT, mines, engineering and media.
The family which hails from Saharanpur in UP and controls a slew of South African companies has denied the allegations and challenged anyone to prove them.
But last week the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party led by its firebrand leader Julius Malema, Zuma’s former ally, targeted the Guptas threatening that the family would be “driven back to India” from where they came over 20 years ago and built a business empire in South Africa.
“We declare war against the Guptas and their businesses and when we declare war we fight to the bitter end,” SABC News quoted Malema as saying.
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