The Guptas have flown the coop.
The controversial Indian-born brothers Atul and Ajay have resigned from their South African company and fled to Dubai.
The businessmen were spotted leaving from Lanseria Airport on their private jet at 11pm on Thursday night with “enough luggage for 20 people”.
“The whole family is in the process of leaving,” family spokesman Nazeem Howa told the City Press newspaper.
EFF leader Julius Malema commented on the move rendezvous on Twitter.
“We just received unverified reports that the Guptas were seen leaving their home in Saxonworld this morning with a big moving truck…” he tweeted.
The City Press report states the family were seen leaving the airport “with a mountain of luggage”.
A few hours later, it was announced that the Gupta brothers and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane had resigned from Oakbay Investments and Oakbay Resources and Energy.
Oakbay said the Guptas had resigned from all group companies with immediate effect “in the best interests of the company, its shareholders and employees”.
The company said 1 000 jobs would be saved as a result of the resignations.
The drastic measures follows as the family are trying to save their business after two major banks and audit firm KPMG cut ties with them. Banking partner Sasfin Capital had also given the firm notice of their intention to terminate services from June 1.
Duduzane Zuma has undertaken to “exit” investments, though he did not specify which.
The Gupta family has come under increasing pressure due to allegations that they influenced President Zuma’s appointment of Mines Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and former finance minister Des van Rooyen, as well as offering ministerial posts to Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.
Ajay and Atul were the co-chairs of Oakbay Investments, while Atul was the chair of Oakbay Resources and Energy. Varun Gupta was the CEO of Oakbay Resources and Energy, while Duduzane Zuma was a director of Shiva Uranium.
The current crisis was set in motion in March when Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas confirmed reports that the Gupta family had approached him to take over as finance minister a few days before Nhlanhla Nene was fired from the post in December.
President Zuma has denied the Guptas’ involvement in the appointments.