Gupta company employees makes plea for banks to re-open accounts

BY CHARL BOSCH - APRIL 20, 2016

Employees of Gupta owned investment firm, Oakbay Investment, have made an impassioned plea to the CEO’s of Absa, First National Bank (FNB), Standard Bank and Nedbank to restore its accounts as their livelihoods are on the online.

Earlier this month, the family, along with President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, announced their resignation from Oakbay amidst allegations that they had been involved in the appointment and recommendation of ministers to cabinet. This prompted the country’s four major banks to close Oakbay’s accounts, with auditing firm KPMG and investment bank Sasfin following not long after.

Last week, CityPress confirmed that Ajay and Atul Gupta had left South Africa for Dubai where another family member had reportedly been living. It was later reported that a Bombardier Global Express 6000 business jet, belonging to Oakbay and with the registration ZS-OAK, touched down in the city of Nakur near the Indian capital New Delhi, not far from where family originally came from.

“We are not rich people. We are not politically connected. We have not captured the state. We have never offered any politician a job. We do not know if any of the allegations against the Gupta family or Oakbay’s management are true. We do not care,” representatives for the employees said in an open letter.

“All we care about is providing for our families. If you do not open Oakbay’s bank accounts we cannot be paid and Oakbay cannot pay its bills. If by the end of May the accounts remain closed, Oakbay’s businesses will close. We urge you to recognise that your actions have a human cost. We do not understand why we have become the victims in a political game. We, the employees, have not done anything wrong”.

According to Eyewitness News, a total of 4 500 people are employed in the Gupta’s various business ventures, with Oakbay acting as a holding concern for companies such as Sahara Computers, ANN7, The New Age, JIM Mining, Shiva Uranium, Tegeta Resources and Clifftop Lodge in Limpopo.