Oakbay Investments, the holding company of the Gupta family’s businesses, today released the details of a meeting with ANC officials on February 15 at Luthuli House in double page advertisements.
The ANC at the meeting was represented by President Jacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, chairperson Baleka Mbete, secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize.
Oakbay was represented by group CEO Nazeem Howa, shareholders Ajay Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and Moegsien Williams, editor-in-chief of The New Age and ANN7.
Howa said last night the document was being released after persistent requests from the media for details of the meeting. “Also, we want to remove the misconceptions, misrepresentations and deliberate lies being purveyed by others about the company, the Gupta family and the friendship with Zuma,” he said.
“The facts released will show the contradiction between the claims that we exercise huge influence over the government and the small amount of business we conduct with government agencies.” Howa said the Oakbay delegation also dealt with the claim that the Guptas “appointed” Cabinet members and the lies and myths surrounding it.
Ajay Gupta related how the Fikile Mbalula “urban legend” originated. Gupta said: “I read a speculative report in a weekend newspaper that Fikile is being named as a possible minister. When I bumped into him a few days later I jokingly congratulated him on his possible appointment.
Fikile then tweeted that he was told by a Gupta that he is heading for the Cabinet.” Howa said that’s how the urban legend started.
The story appeared in the Weekend Argus on October 24, 2010. “We stated very strongly that we are not interested in politics or meddling in it.
We simply wanted to grow our businesses to employ more and more South Africans,” Howa said. The Oakbay team also provided evidence to the top six of the group’s business dealings with the government.
“Our last audited financial statements show that only have 1% of business coming from government despite the stories pedalled by competitor media.
On coal supply, we have under 1% of the supply to Eskom. If the Optimum deal closes this will move to about 5%,” Howa said.