South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party has laid criminal charges against the Gupta Brothers at the Cape Town Police Station for allegedly using public funds to pay for a family member’s wedding four years ago, a senior DA official has said.The party confirmed on Thursday: “DA Shadow Finance Minister David Maynier MP has laid criminal charges against Atul Gupta‚ Ajay Gupta‚ Rajesh Gupta‚ Ronica Ragavan and Kamal Vasram following revelations that public funds were used to pay for Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia’s wedding at Sun City in 2013.
“The fact that public funds‚ which were meant to assist the poor‚ were allegedly used by President Jacob Zuma’s most important clients‚ the Guptas‚ to pay for a family wedding is grotesque and must be investigated by the South African Police Service.”
Press reports said that the US$3.0 million wedding of Vega Gupta, a relative of the Gupta Brothers, was paid for by a company which had business dealings with the Free State Provincial government.
It later transpired that, when this particular company came to pay for its annual taxes to government, it decided to treat the wedding costs as a deductible business expense, thereby leaving the government to actually foot the bill.
In reality, according to the charges, the Guptas did not pay anything for the controversial wedding, which saw the wedding party being flown from India into South Africa and landing at the main military base outside Pretoria – instead of using the civilian facility at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
While this raised eyebrows, President Jacob Zuma never admitted that he had authorised the Guptas’ civilian aircraft to land at what is considered as the countrys’ “keypoint,” that is, a high security area only a head of state can authorise its use.