South Africa’s beleaguered Indian-origin Gupta family has sold its mining unit Tegeta for South African rand 2.97 billion, their company said today. The “decisive action” by the family’s Oakbay Investments to sell its Tegeta Exploration and Resources business comes just two days after it sold its media holdings comprising the daily newspaper The New Age and the TV channel ANN7 for South African rand 450 million. “In order to preserve the employment of its loyal staff, Oakbay has agreed to the sale of Tegeta to the Swiss-based Charles King SA for South African rand 2.97 billion,” the company statement said.
“The sale is subject to regulatory requirements and the fulfilment of the conditions in the agreement which are expected to be concluded within 12 months,” it said. The decision came amid growing concerns among employees of the company that they might not get paid next month after all local banks refused to deal with the Gupta family and its businesses. The three Gupta brothers, originally from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, are business friends of South African President Jacob Zuma.
They have built a huge business empire in fields as diverse as agriculture, mining, information technology and media since arriving here more than two decades ago. They have been accused of negotiating lucrative preferential deals through their association with President Zuma, his son Duduzane, and other government officials and institutions. The Guptas, however, have denied the allegations.