Cape Town – A day after EFF leader Julius Malema dragged the controversial Gupta family into the headlines, a new report claims that they’ve teamed up with state-owned arms company Denel.
In a front page lead, the Mail & Guardian reported that Denel had announced the formation of a joint venture company – Denel Asia – and the Guptas are some of the shareholders.
The weekly reported that the parastatal’s permanent chief executive, chief financial officer and company secretary were pushed aside to “clear the way for the deal”.
Fin24 reported in September last year that the Denel board placed CEO Riaz Saloojee, chief financial officer Fikile Mhlontlo and company secretary Elizabeth Africa on compulsory leave pending the outcome of an investigation.
Cash flow problems were rumoured to be the reason for the suspension. Denel has denied both claims as reported by Fin24 and the M&G. Denel’s partner in Denel Asia was revealed to be VR Laser. In August 2014, City Press reported that President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane and Rajesh “Tony” Gupta had a 25.1% stake in VR Laser through Craysure investments, which in turn is wholly owned by Westdawn Investments.
Company records show Gupta and Zuma are directors in Westdawn, and both Westdawn and Craysure share a registered office in Midrand, Gauteng.