What do you do when you’re stinking rich and no bank wants to do business with you? Why, you start your own one of course.
The controversial Gupta family are making moves to acquire their own bank.
The family and its businesses have been rejected by the country’s four major banks.
Independent Media can reveal that executives of the Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments are lobbying various leaders of an influential workers’ union to back their potential takeover of a bank the union partly owns.
This has created divisions between union bosses, where different factions are divided over whether or not the bank should be sold to the Guptas.
Oakbay has had its bank accounts closed by Absa, FNB, Nedbank and Standard Bank for reasons the banks have refused to disclose.
Speculation is rife that the banks’ moves were related to fears over regulatory breaches of the laws governing the movement of money in and out of the country.
Meanwhile, the Guptas spoke out for the first time yesterday about allegations of State capture.
Speaking as an audience member during SABC’s Morning Live breakfast show, Ajay Gupta said he was “not a lobbyist” or a “State capturer”.
The close friend of President Jacob Zuma said he believes the idea of State capture is an imaginary concept created by the media. “It is mind capture, it is media capture,” he said.
“As far as I am concerned, I am a friend only [to Zuma],” he added.
The Guptas are accused of offering top ministers posts in order to get lucrative government contracts.