The latest shocking #GuptaLeaks revelations allege that the bill for the lavish and controversial Sun City wedding of Gupta niece, Vega Gupta, in 2013 was paid for by the Free State provincial government… in a process that involved money laundering and the Vrede Dairy Project (in which the Guptas have always denied involvement).
The latest exposé – of the “Dubai laundromat” – has been published Friday after in-depth investigation by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism, an independent non-profit, and the Daily Maverick’s new investigative unit, Scorpio.
The resulting article shows that instead of the wedding being an (excessive) show of family wealth, it was instead funded by state money which had been intended for black farmers.
Twitter user Sithembile Mbete tweeted: “This makes me angry! I have family in Vrede and that farming project was expected to transform a very poor town instead of paying for this.” Instead over R2.3-million was spent on scarves for the wedding, over R13,000 on chocolate truffles and over R13-million on event services…
Today’s revelations have connected the dots between the wedding and the Vrede Dairy Project, which former Gupta’s auditors KPMG “missed”. KPMG were auditors of Gupta’s Linkway Trading company which amaBhungane shows played a pivotal role in “allowing the diversion of cash earmarked for the Free State’s Vrede dairy project to reimburse most of the wedding expenses – R30 million to be exact.”
At the time of the wedding between Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia, KPMG Africa head Moses Kgosana labelled it as “an event of the millennium”. The #GuptaLeaks show that KPMG further ensured that the Guptas got the wedding tax free by writing it off as a ‘business expense’.
According to the revelations, based on emails and other reports, the then Free State MEC Agriculture, Mosebenzi Zwane (current Mineral Resources Minister), was the Gupta’s enabler in the Vrede Dairy Project. Vrede is his home town, and the project was not put out to public tender.
amaBhungane outlines the paper trail of the money laundering scam – which involves R114-million being paid to Gupta company Estina (its sole director Kamal Vasram had ties to the Guptas). R84-million was sent in dollars to their Dubai shell company, Gateway Limited… of which three quarters was then sent back to two Gupta companies in South Africa, some of which was used to pay for the wedding.
An extra $3.1-million was allegedly laundered from the Vrede Dairy Project to Dubai and back to the Gupta Family’s Oakbay Investments in South Africa.
amuBhungane says “it is now clear, the Guptas, and not the people of the Free State, were the major beneficiaries.”
Scorpio’s journalist, Pauli van Wyk, tweeted Friday morning: “We didn’t know it, but South Africans were watching the guys that stole our eggs eat a luxurious omelet…”
Read the full details here: