[LISTEN] How the Guptas built an empire - ' The Republic of Gupta'

The Waterkloof Gupta scandal may have sparked what is now national interest into the families dealings with the state, but looking closely at their history and their initial business pursuits in South Africa, Pieter-Louis Myburgh shares how their prominence did not necessarily begin under President Jacob Zuma's tenure.

In conversation with Eusebius McKaiser, Myburgh details the families business history and how they managed to expand.

I did track it back and I start telling the story of this sort of modest family who have a couple of businesses in a smallish city called Saharanpur in India. The father, Shiv Kumar Gupta, ran a couple businesses, one of them a spice import business, another allowed people who subscribed to the Indian government's ration card system to buy basic food stuffs from a market he ran there.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh, journalist

I think the patriarch was quite shrewd in pointing out South Africa as fertile ground for their business to sort of expand their business, and identify business avenues in this new democracy that was gaining traction in 1993 -1994, so the timing was important to point out, that at that exact moment of transition the Gupta's land in South Africa and they immediately appear to start cosying up to the ruling party.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh, journalist

Myburgh explains how the family's earliest attempts at business in South Africa began with Athul Gupta selling shoes from the back of a car.

Athul then recognised a gap in the ICT sector, which is how Sahara Computers was born.

The family was accused of piggy-backing on the name of an already existing company in India.

They to this day stand accused by industry role players and people who occupy the IT space in South Africa of having piggy backed on the name of Sahara Pariwar in India, a massive conglomerate.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh, journalist

He highlights some of the politicians associated with the family since their arrival, including their relationship with President Jacob Zuma and a possible link to Essop Pahad who served under former President Thabo Mbeki's ministry.

The former president said, rightly or wrongly, Pahad thought Ajay Gupta had the skills and knowledge to serve on the board of what was then the International Marketing Council.

President Jacob Zuma and Atul Gupta. Picture: GCIS

READ: Guptas gave us business opportunities, while our comrades didn't - Maphatsoe

Other names mentioned in Myburgh's book include Makhaya Nthini, AB de Villiers and Graham Smith as he draws on an alleged attempt by the family to 'capture' Crick South Africa.

Click below to listen to the full interview to hear about an investigation into the family by the National Intelligence Agency and Siva Uranium.....

Read More
Why 'I believe you' are important words for sexual assault survivors

Why 'I believe you' are important words for sexual assault survivors

Not In My Name's Siyabulela Jentile says supporting sexual assault survivors could potentially help prevent any further abuse.

Blessee's taste of the 'champagne lifestyle' told in new book

Blessee's taste of the 'champagne lifestyle' told in new book

This is the story of Bontle Tau, a woman who exploits her looks to access material success and juggles her three main 'blessers'.

Terror expert explains why Hawks probe on coup plotter arrest doesn't add up

Terror expert explains why Hawks probe on coup plotter arrest doesn't add up

A man who allegedly plotted assassination of prominent South Africans including Zuma, Guptas and Maine is set to appear in court.

SACP says it doesn't want SA turned into a playground by Gupta dynasty

SACP says it doesn't want SA turned into a playground by Gupta dynasty

The South African Communist Party is picketing outside Treasury in Tshwane to oppose state capture and corruption.

Bell Pottinger has severed ties with the Gupta family

Bell Pottinger has severed ties with the Gupta family

The PR company tasked with the Gupta's reputation management has cut ties with the controversial family.

DA says family lawyer confirmed Guptas own armoured military vehicle

DA says family lawyer confirmed Guptas own armoured military vehicle

The DA has asked Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe to find out whether the family has permission to own a military vehicle.

Popular articles
Meet Whitey Basson (the retail guru who turned Shoprite into a R127bn behemoth)

Meet Whitey Basson (the retail guru who turned Shoprite into a R127bn behemoth)

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the former CEO of Africa’s largest retailer by far.

CT airport shooting attempted hit on gang boss allegedly linked to '28s' -expert

CT airport shooting attempted hit on gang boss allegedly linked to '28s' -expert

A policing expert explains that the airport shooting may be linked to the shooting at a Stellenbosch nightclub this past weekend.

Almost 30 million SA ID numbers compromised after site hacked

Almost 30 million SA ID numbers compromised after site hacked

Independent Marketing Consultant in the Technology Space, Andrew Fraser says this looks like a leak and not a hack.

Cape Town International Airport shooting could be gang related - ACSA

Cape Town International Airport shooting could be gang related - ACSA

The incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

Kloof Street residents living in fear as crime multiplies

A Cape Town man was stabbed to death on Saturday while trying to assist two women who were being mugged on Kloof street.