The fall of Gupta brothers, Mayahudi watu hatari sana

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The Shivadham Temple in Saharanpur, India, where construction was halted because of investigations into the Gupta family, which financed it.CreditCreditSaumya Khandelwal for The New York Times
In Gupta Brothers’ Rise and Fall, the Tale of a Sullied A.N.C.
An Indian family rose to the heights of power and fortune in South Africa with the help of eager officials in the legendary party of Nelson Mandela.
By Norimitsu Onishi and Selam Gebrekidan
  • Dec. 22, 2018

SAHARANPUR, India — India’s most influential guru joined thousands of believers four years ago as the temple’s first stone was set in the ground.
It was a glorious day for its builders, the Gupta brothers, the sons of a local shopkeeper who had risen, almost magically, to become one of the richest families a world away in South Africa.
The three brothers had flown back on their private jet to start work on the temple, a 125-foot monument of pink sandstone and white marble that would tower over the tiny place where their father used to ride his bicycle to pray every day.
But one morning last month, as the sun struggled to break through the smog in Saharanpur, their hometown in India’s north, the giant yellow crane raising the temple stood still — in limbo, like the brothers themselves.
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The Guptas are now in self-imposed exile in Dubai, evading arrest in South Africa, where they stand at the center of a scandal that has already brought down the nation’s president and exposed staggering amounts of corruption in the once-legendary party of Nelson Mandela.

Ajay Gupta, center, during a lunch interview in October in Dubai, where he is in self-imposed exile.CreditJoao Silva/The New York Times

Ajay Gupta, center, during a lunch interview in October in Dubai, where he is in self-imposed exile.CreditJoao Silva/The New York Times
Even here in India, the family’s legacy — so large that it has been elevated to myth — faces collapse. The new temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva in their father’s honor, is now being investigated for the same kind of self-dealing and fraud the family is accused of mastering in South Africa.

The rise and fall of the Gupta brothers is so improbable that in Saharanpur their story is told like a parable.
They began by selling shoes in South Africa and swiftly became central figures in the nation’s post-apartheid history, outsiders who broke into the very pinnacle of political power. Seemingly overnight, they joined the ranks of South Africa’s most influential families, playing a leading role in one of the biggest dramas after the end of apartheid: Who is getting rich, and how?

Mr. Mandela’s election as president in 1994 set off a scramble by leaders in his party, the African National Congress, to amass wealth. The early ones succeeded through ties with rich white South Africans. Many others turned to the brothers from Saharanpur.
The Guptas found eager partners at all levels of the A.N.C., from bureaucrats to a sitting president, Jacob Zuma, according to dozens of interviews by The New York Times, as well as government investigators, international auditors, emails from a Gupta company, financial records and court documents.
Seizing on a chance encounter with a South African official in India decades ago, the three brothers cultivated ties to the governing party so expertly that it became difficult to draw the line between their business empire and the president’s office.
They made one of Mr. Zuma’s sons a business partner, enabling them to buy a coal mine through government intervention and set up a media business that the president helped guide himself, according to officials, company emails and people involved in the ventures. The president responded in kind, handing them control over strategic cabinet selections and the boards of state-owned enterprises.

The Guptas recruited other senior A.N.C. officials by giving them secret cuts of lucrative contracts from the state’s utility and rail companies, government investigators say. They acted as fixers for multinational companies, like the German software giant SAP, which paid them kickbacks in return for government business, documents show.
Even in far-flung rural corners of South Africa, they found A.N.C. officials ready to divert money meant to help the poor.

The Duvha Power Station in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, is one of several that have faced blackouts because of a coal shortage precipitated, the government says, by the Gupta family empire’s collapse.CreditJoao Silva/The New York Times

The Duvha Power Station in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, is one of several that have faced blackouts because of a coal shortage precipitated, the government says, by the Gupta family empire’s collapse.CreditJoao Silva/The New York Times

Now desperate to distance themselves from the brothers, A.N.C. leaders dismiss the family as a legacy of the tainted era of Mr. Zuma, who was ousted in February by his own party.
But the story of the Guptas — who landed in the country a year before the end of apartheid in 1994 and left with Mr. Zuma’s fall — is also the story of South Africa under the A.N.C.

The main agent of corruption was the party itself. A.N.C. leaders have siphoned off tens of billions of dollars meant to improve the lives of their most loyal supporters, poor black South Africans.
They have crippled strong government agencies, like the national tax service, to benefit their own bank accounts. Some of the nation’s new leaders — the A.N.C. officials promising a new chapter for the country now that Mr. Zuma is out of office — have pocketed money intended for basic services, like schools.
A.N.C. politicians have even taken to assassinating fellow party members to cover up corruption, leading some officials to liken the party to a Mafia.
“The Guptas were so egregious and big-time that they are a story on their own,” said R.W. Johnson, a historian of South Africa. “But the thing that amazes is that this is only 20 years on from an African nationalist revolution, and here are all these guys happily selling their country down the river.”

As with other outsiders, including big corporations like KPMG, the Guptas helped undermine the nation’s democratic institutions. And like generations of foreigners before them, they took their windfall out of Africa, moving it to Dubai and India through a maze of dubious, and at times illegal, transactions, officials say.
They flew everywhere: across oceans in their own planes, to their own helipad here in Saharanpur, to Hindu temples in the Himalayas.
And they became so powerful that they clashed with the Oppenheimers — the family that once owned the De Beers diamond company and the mining giant Anglo American — whose influence in South Africa had been unrivaled for a century.
But as the Guptas brandished their power, they incited a backlash, not only from ordinary South Africans, but also from a far more powerful constituency: the white-led business establishment and its allies, both increasingly worried that the brothers were putting the country’s economic health at risk.

The Guptas’ intimate role in steering the nation helped set off an electoral revolt that has already cost the A.N.C. control over South Africa’s biggest cities and could jeopardize its hold on the presidency.
From his self-imposed exile in Dubai, Ajay Gupta, 53, the oldest brother, denies all wrongdoing. As newcomers to South Africa, he said, he and his brothers have been turned into scapegoats.
He points out that they face no criminal charges in South Africa, adding that their family empire is now bankrupt.
But nothing angers him more than the temple.
Far more than a gift to their hometown and a testament to their humble beginnings, the $28 million Shivadham Temple is now being investigated by the Indian authorities as the cornerstone of an elaborate scheme to launder “illicit money” from the Gupta fortune in South Africa.

“It’s a 1,000 percent lie,” Mr. Gupta said in his first extensive interview since fleeing South Africa. “I’ll kill the person and I’ll kill myself before I use a cent for this kind of a thing.”

A portrait of Shiv Kumar Gupta, who inspired his three sons to leave India to seek their fortunes, in the conference room at the temple they built to honor him in Saharanpur.CreditSaumya Khandelwal for The New York Times


Humble Beginnings
It all started with a few shirts.
The father of the Gupta brothers, Shiv Kumar Gupta, owned a tiny shop that sold government rations, or subsidized food, here in Saharanpur. He was a pious, somewhat idiosyncratic man, who tossed bread to stray dogs from the basket of his bicycle on his way to the old temple every day, and he often spent nights meditating in its crematory.
But he nurtured grand ambitions. One day, Mr. Gupta called over his oldest son, Ajay, to recount a newspaper article on the war between Iran and Iraq. The price of rice had skyrocketed there because, he told his son, all the traders had left the countries.
“But somebody is going in,” Ajay recalled his father saying. “He’s getting this advantage because there’s no competition.”

[Here’s a guide to our recent reporting on corruption in South Africa.]
In the 1980s, few people in Saharanpur left to seek their fortunes in places like China, Russia or South Africa. Most went to big cities like New Delhi, or to Britain or Canada.
But to people who knew the family, the father’s mind-set reflected that of the family’s caste, the Banias, or traders. The brothers spoke proudly of their background, explaining why they were such good businessmen.
So Ajay, who had already set up a computer import business in New Delhi, followed his father’s advice and went looking for opportunities in Russia, China and Singapore.
The middle brother, Atul, went to South Africa in 1993, right before it became a democracy. He kept going back, despite his family’s misgivings.

“He alone was the bullish one,” Ajay recalled. “He loved the place.”
In the years before and after the end of apartheid, South Africa, rattled by violence and political killings, seemed to be slipping into civil war. Many people with means, especially white South Africans, were packing into planes to London or Perth.
But others — exiled South Africans and fortune-seekers — were flocking in. True to his father’s teaching, Atul settled in Johannesburg and sold shoes downtown. Then he started a company — Sahara, named after the family hometown — importing computer parts and assembling them for sale.
And by chance, he made a personal connection to the A.N.C. that would prove far more consequential.
During a trip home to India, Atul met a South African of Indian origin in New Delhi: Essop Pahad, the right-hand man of Thabo Mbeki, who was then Mr. Mandela’s deputy.
In an interview, Mr. Pahad recalled that he had ordered some tailor-made Nehru-style shirts. But he had to return to South Africa before they were ready. Atul volunteered to pick them up and personally deliver them to Mr. Pahad’s office in Johannesburg. After that, they ran into each other at functions at the Indian consulate.

“He talked about Ajay a lot,” Mr. Pahad said. “Then I said, ‘Who is this Ajay of yours?’”

People protesting against President Jacob Zuma last year outside the Gupta family mansion in Johannesburg. Mr. Zuma’s party ousted him in February.CreditJoao Silva/The New York Times


Planting New Roots
By then, Ajay was head of the whole family.
With their early ventures overseas, the Gupta brothers had found some success and bought their father his first car: a creamy white Contessa, the biggest made in India.
But their father died a year later. Only Ajay made it back home in time to say goodbye. An hour before Mr. Gupta died, he gave his watch and ring to Ajay, who wears them to this day.
With the responsibility of the family on his shoulders, he eventually moved everyone to Johannesburg.

When Mr. Pahad finally met Ajay, he was immediately impressed. Ajay got the big picture in South Africa, and seemed to understand that there was a place in it for the Guptas.
In fact, the opening was vast, and Ajay exploited it masterfully.
In the late 1990s, as Mr. Mbeki prepared to become president, the A.N.C. government was worried about the enduring power of white South African businessmen and dependence on Western nations. Forging ties with countries like India and China could lessen their influence, Mr. Pahad said.
Black South Africans had gained political power. But the white business elite, led by officials at Anglo American, had protected its own interests in the new South Africa.
Long before the end of apartheid, Harry Oppenheimer, the head of the mining company, had led efforts to create — and co-opt, some historians say — a black elite.

When Mr. Mandela was released from Robben Island in 1990, Anglo American executives visited him at his home in Soweto. Other businessmen followed, to Mr. Mandela’s delight, according to an authorized biography describing how he stayed at the estates of white tycoons and accepted gifts from them.
Mr. Mandela was particularly close to Mr. Oppenheimer, who gave him money, said Michael Spicer, a former executive at the company.

Nelson Mandela with Harry Oppenheimer, left, in Johannesburg in 1994 before the elections that made Mr. Mandela South Africa’s first black president. As leader of the mining giant Anglo American, Mr. Oppenheimer led efforts to foster a black elite in the country.CreditGallo Images/Avusa, via Getty Images



“Harry would say, ‘It’s important for the country that Mandela not be fussed with all of these problems,’” Mr. Spicer said.
But nothing was free.
Mr. Oppenheimer put together a team of economic advisers for Mr. Mandela called the Brenthurst Group — named after the Oppenheimers’ palatial estate in Johannesburg. In meetings, A.N.C. leaders joined the country’s top white businessmen to set the nation’s post-apartheid economic course, Mr. Spicer said.

Soon enough, Mr. Mandela, who had supported nationalizing the economy, endorsed pro-business policies. Some historians argue that the policies contributed to South Africa’s income inequality, and to an economy still based on cheap black labor.
But after becoming president, Mr. Mbeki moved to dampen the power of white businesses. He created his own group, which met at his residence each month, Mr. Pahad said. It included cabinet ministers, top businessmen, rising stars in the A.N.C. and an unknown figure: Ajay Gupta.
Ajay said he enjoyed the meetings. Mr. Mbeki sometimes even dropped by for lunch.
Only a few years after settling in South Africa, Ajay had forged links to the highest levels of the A.N.C., thanks to his friendship with Mr. Pahad.
Mr. Pahad said that he had appointed Ajay to the group to help build ties to India, but that he had asked nothing of the brothers.
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After leaving government, however, Mr. Pahad acknowledged receiving favors from the family, including a loan of about $140,000 for a house, seats on the boards of two Gupta companies and help in starting a magazine.
As the brothers’ ties to the A.N.C. strengthened, their businesses began flourishing.
In the early 2000s, they got their first big break: They won a large government contract to set up computer laboratories in schools in the nation’s richest province.
Then they went on a buying spree, acquiring a struggling information technology company that helped them become one of the biggest computer distributors in South Africa.
They later bought a uranium mine, a steel manufacturer and other businesses.
By the time Ajay was invited to join a separate advisory group — this one established by the Oppenheimers’ foundation — he had a private plane, an eight-seat Hawker, said Mr. Spicer, who once hitched a ride aboard it.
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“The Guptas’ plane flew in, the Oppenheimers’ plane flew in,” Mr. Spicer said. “And, yes, there was always a bit of whose is longest.”

The Gupta family home in Saharanpur now lies in ruins. The Gupta brothers rose almost magically to become one of the richest families in South Africa. Their fall has been just as dramatic.CreditSaumya Khandelwal for The New York Times


Hedging Their Bets
Even as the Guptas thrived off their ties to Mr. Mbeki’s allies, they were reaching out to his archrival, Mr. Zuma, the No. 2 in the party.
The two leaders fought bitterly. So Mr. Pahad, Mr. Mbeki’s right-hand man, was surprised to learn that the Guptas had cultivated ties with the other side.
“They were having some function at their home, and Ajay said to me, ‘Do you mind if we invite Zuma?’” Mr. Pahad recalled.
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Money was an unspoken dynamic in the battle between Mr. Mbeki and Mr. Zuma: Who in the A.N.C. had gotten rich since the end of apartheid? And, perhaps more important, who had not?
Mr. Mandela and some others — including South Africa’s current president, Cyril Ramaphosa — became wealthy, in part through connections to white business leaders.
During Mr. Mbeki’s tenure, his allies got their chance, often by directing the course of the country’s Black Economic Empowerment policies, which required white businesses to take on black partners.
So when Mr. Zuma became president in 2009, it was his faction’s turn.
But Mr. Zuma, plagued by personal and political scandals, was distrusted by the white business establishment. And more than a decade after apartheid, many white businesses felt they had done enough to help — a sentiment that angered people close to Mr. Zuma.

“Should Anglo be allowed to say, ‘We’ve assisted Cyril Ramaphosa, so exonerate us?’” said Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, Mr. Zuma’s former mining minister. “No, no, no.”

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One path to riches was still clear, though: government coffers.
The Guptas hired or became business partners with the sons of powerful A.N.C. politicians, like Mr. Zuma’s son Duduzane, and Tshepiso Magashule, the son of Ace Magashule, the party’s current secretary general.
It fell to the youngest of the Gupta brothers — the friendly and easygoing Rajesh, nicknamed Tony — to keep the sons happy. They went to nightclubs together and hung out in the family’s compound in Johannesburg.
The politicians’ sons flew first class to Dubai and India, staying in the best rooms at high-end hotels, all at the Guptas’ expense, according to emails from a Gupta-owned company leaked to South African news organizations and examined by The Times. One December, they joined the Gupta family on an extended vacation to Delhi, Dubai, New York and Venice, the emails show.

Tony also took the lead in pursuing business in Free State Province, where corruption had flourished under Ace Magashule, its leader at the time, A.N.C. officials said.
In an interview, Mxolisi Dukwana, then Mr. Magashule’s provincial minister of economic development, recalled how he and his boss went to visit Tony in Johannesburg. The president’s son, Duduzane, was also there, he said.

Mxolisi Dukwana, formerly the economic development minister in Free State Province, detailed illicit dealings between officials and the Guptas during an interview in the city of Welkom, South Africa.CreditJoao Silva/The New York Times


Tony asked Mr. Dukwana to endorse a large-scale development project in the province, promising him a monthly cut, Mr. Dukwana said.
Tony added that he and the other two men in the room had a similar arrangement in a mining project, Mr. Dukwana said. He recounted Tony’s saying that he “personally gave” monthly payments of about $71,000 each to Mr. Magashule and to the president’s son.

“Then he asked them, ‘Have I ever failed you?’ And they both said no,” Mr. Dukwana said.
The three of them — Tony Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and Mr. Magashule — declined interview requests.
Mr. Dukwana said he turned down the offer and thought he would never see Tony again.
But a few years later, after Mr. Dukwana had left government, he said Tony invited him to Johannesburg. He sensed that Tony was hedging his bets — leaving open the possibility of a future relationship.
Tony ended the meeting by handing him about $1,100, for “petrol.”
“So I took it,” Mr. Dukwana said, “and that was it.”

From left, Duduzane Zuma, son of South Africa’s president at the time, with Ajay and Atul Gupta, seated, and Jagdish Parekh, a family associate, in 2011 at the offices of the newspaper The New Age in Johannesburg.CreditMuntu Vilakazi/Gallo Images, via Getty Images


Ties at the Top
The Guptas also gained great influence over the president and his affairs.
According to witnesses in the government inquiry into the Zuma years, the Guptas had a say in choosing ministers, or even offered positions to candidates directly.

When Mr. Zwane was appointed Mr. Zuma’s mining minister in 2015 — one of the most important positions in the government — other politicians and industry officials were taken aback. He had been unknown on the national stage, and had no experience in mining.
But the Guptas knew him well. As agricultural minister in Free State Province, he had spearheaded a dairy project that, instead of helping poor black farmers, enriched A.N.C. politicians and their business allies.
The Guptas, who had a stake in the project, sponsored a trip to India for Mr. Zwane and his church choir, according to the Gupta company emails. They paid for his first-class flight to Dubai and his stay at a five-star hotel.
Then, as soon as he became mining minister, Mr. Zwane went to extraordinary lengths to help the brothers land a mining deal.

The Guptas, along with Mr. Zuma’s son as their business partner, had been trying to buy a troubled coal mine from Glencore, the Swiss commodities giant. Glencore had rejected the family’s offer until Mr. Zwane, as mining minister, got directly involved.
In Zurich in late 2015, Mr. Zwane and Tony Gupta met with the head of Glencore and persuaded him to sell the mine to the Guptas. After the meeting, Mr. Zwane flew out on the Guptas’ private jet, according to the Gupta company emails. A Glencore spokesman declined to comment.
Mr. Zwane’s trip was an effort to “unfairly and unduly influence a contract” for the president’s son, according to a report by the Public Protector’s office, a government body that investigates corruption.

But Ajay Gupta denied any “interference by Zwane.” He said that his brother Tony had happened to be in Zurich on vacation and joined the meeting with Glencore.

Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, mining minister under President Zuma, at his home in Warden, South Africa. He was appointed with Gupta support despite having no experience in mining.CreditJoao Silva/The New York Times




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Mosebenzi Joseph Zwane, mining minister under President Zuma, at his home in Warden, South Africa. He was appointed with Gupta support despite having no experience in mining.CreditJoao Silva/The New York Times
“It was a coincidence that my brother was there,” Ajay said.
In an interview, Mr. Zwane also denied improper ties with the Guptas, declining to answer questions about his trip to Zurich.
But the relationship was so close that a Gupta employee coached Mr. Zwane after he was appointed minister, the leaked emails show.
Days before Mr. Zwane was scheduled to address the South African news media, an executive at a Gupta company sent an email with detailed advice.
If questioned about his role in the coal mine deal, he should call it a purchase “by a black-owned consortium of which the Guptas form a part,” enabling him to change “the complexion of the mining industry.”

Duduzane Zuma, the president’s son, also helped the Guptas expand beyond mining. They started a newspaper and a television news station, ANN7, that thrived on government advertising, which their political connections easily secured.
As in other projects, Duduzane Zuma was the Guptas’ Black Economic Empowerment partner in the venture. But it was clear he was simply a proxy for the president, said Rajesh Sundaram, an Indian journalist who worked directly under Atul Gupta to start the channel.
In meetings that Mr. Sundaram attended with the Guptas and the president, Mr. Zuma was intimately engaged in the network’s launch, giving advice on everything from the background set for news presentations to the tone of the coverage, he said.
At one meeting, the president expressed satisfaction with video of a rival politician getting out of a helicopter because it made him look “corrupt,” Mr. Sundaram said.

“It was actually Zuma who was acting like a business partner, not Duduzane,” Mr. Sundaram said. “His son was there just goofing around, cracking jokes.”
Seeing how close the Guptas were with Mr. Zuma, Mr. Sundaram said he once asked Atul, “What if Zuma goes?”
“Well, we’ve got everyone in our pocket,” Atul replied, Mr. Sundaram recalled. “Many in the A.N.C. are waiting and are desperate to get in touch with us.”
“We’re not fools to put all our eggs in one basket,” Mr. Sundaram recounted Atul saying.
Atul Gupta and Mr. Zuma declined to be iinterview


Work this month on the temple in Saharanpur.CreditSaumya Khandelwal for The New York Times

Ruinous Miscalculations
As the Gupta brothers prospered, they flaunted it.
They enlisted a top Bollywood actor, Anil Kapoor, to produce a 2007 movie they financed, “Gandhi, My Father,” touching on Gandhi’s time in South Africa. Both Mr. Mandela and Mr. Mbeki publicly showered the Guptas with praise.
In Saharanpur, the brothers invited 2,000 guests for the groundbreaking of the temple in their father’s memory. Among the big names was a close family friend, Baba Ramdev, the most powerful guru in India, often credited with helping bring Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power.
In 2016, with a fortune conservatively estimated at $800 million, the Guptas were South Africa’s seventh-richest family — the only nonwhite family in the top 10.
But two events — both, as it turned out, related to planes — contributed to their undoing.
In 2013, the brothers chartered a plane with about 200 guests from India to attend the extravagant wedding of a niece in Sun City, South Africa’s Las Vegas. They invited relatives, friends, businessmen and politicians, mostly from India.

“They needed to shout from the roof, ‘Hey, we have arrived,’” said Amar Singh, a political figure in the Guptas’ home province in India.
But the brothers miscalculated. Using their political connections, they landed the plane near Sun City — at a military base. Its use by a private family set off a government inquiry, turning the Guptas into a favorite target of opposition politicians eager to expose corruption under Mr. Zuma.
Ajay Gupta said he followed the rules to get permission and did not regret the lavish wedding.
“After that, we hand over the girl to the other family,” Mr. Gupta said, tears welling in his eyes.
Soon enough, the Guptas were embroiled in another drama, one that pitted them against the Oppenheimers, the family dynasty that had been South Africa’s most powerful for a century.

The Oppenheimers had sold their shares in Anglo American and De Beers for billions. The heirs to the fortune — Nicky Oppenheimer and his son Jonathan, both passionate aviators — opened an ultraluxury private terminal in Johannesburg’s main airport in 2014, with fine dining and a gallery with art for sale.
But the Oppenheimers couldn’t get permission to handle international flights. Despite countless letters and calls to A.N.C. officials, the Oppenheimers were getting nowhere.
Eventually, they sued the government, accusing the Guptas of using their political influence to stall the business. The brothers, the Oppenheimers said, wanted in on the terminal.
According to court documents, the Guptas sent a message to the Oppenheimers that they had “the wrong B.E.E. partner” — referring to the Black Economic Empowerment program. If the Oppenheimers chose a partner endorsed by the Guptas, the documents said, their “problems would go away.”


Becoming Pariahs
The last straw was another appointment: In late 2015, Mr. Zuma chose an unknown lawmaker — considered close to the Guptas — as finance minister.
Alarmed, the business establishment and its A.N.C. allies struck back, forcing Mr. Zuma to remove the minister after only four days.
Within weeks, a major South African bank cut ties with the Gupta family. The country’s other big banks followed.
With the Guptas increasingly shut out of South Africa’s economy, an Indian bank handed them a lifeline.

For more than a decade, the Guptas had fostered relations with the South African branch of the Bank of Baroda, India’s second-biggest national bank.
When the bank’s chief executive in South Africa asked for an internship for his son, the family obliged and even sent a round-trip ticket, according to the Gupta company emails. When the bank’s employees needed help getting work visas from the South Africa bureaucracy, the Guptas obliged.
After South Africa’s banks cut ties with the Guptas, Baroda continued to do business with the brothers. Its chief executive in South Africa issued a letter of support when the Guptas moved to buy the coal mine from Glencore — without telling his superiors in India.

Mr. Zuma awaiting a hearing in his corruption trial last month in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.CreditPool photo by Rogan Ward

In an interview in Mumbai, the bank’s chief executive, P. S. Jayakumar, said branch employees did not collude with the Guptas.

“Bank of Baroda is an Indian bank,” Mr. Jayakumar said. “Guptas are Indian. So there was a connection made and a lot of heightened observations made, all of which are not true.”
But an investigation by the South African Reserve Bank, the nation’s central bank, found that Baroda’s internal systems had flagged about 4,000 suspicious transactions in the Guptas’ accounts. Employees dismissed nearly all of the alerts “without adequate reasons being provided,” according to a confidential report by PwC, the international auditing firm, that was reviewed by The Times.
Baroda announced this year that it would leave South Africa, but said the decision was unrelated to the Guptas.
Here in Saharanpur, questions also emerged around the family’s temple. A separate series of complicated bank transfers — intended, experts say, to hide the source of the money — was financing the construction, according to the Gupta company emails.

Pressure from South Africa drove the Indian authorities to investigate. Officials raided the Guptas’ properties in Saharanpur, saying they had information that the family had brought “illicit money” to India.
“How and from where has the money come?” Amrendra Kumar, a provincial tax official, asked reporters.

Last Flight Out
The Guptas were getting nervous. Their most powerful ally, Mr. Zuma, was scheduled to step down as the A.N.C.’s leader in late 2017. The brothers would soon find out whether they had eggs in more than one basket.
The race to succeed Mr. Zuma was tight. His former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma appeared to have a slight edge over her rival, Mr. Ramaphosa, the favorite candidate of the business establishment.
Mr. Dukwana, the former official in Free State, said that right before the party election he got a call from Tony Gupta, who had given him gas money at their last meeting.


Sounding “bubbly,” Tony told him he was calling from Dubai, Mr. Dukwana said.
“They needed some friends,” Mr. Dukwana said.
The Gupta empire was getting squeezed. Locked out of banks, the brothers could not pay their employees or debts. Their only public company was delisted from the Johannesburg stock exchange. South African companies, big and small, refused to do business with them.
Cornered, they sold a mining company and their media empire in quick succession. Many of their remaining companies filed for bankruptcy protection and are now managed by outside supervisors.
Everything might have worked out for them had Mr. Zuma’s ex-wife won. But one of her supporters, David Mabuza — who had become a kingmaker by diverting government money to finance his political rise — flipped his votes at the last minute, handing Mr. Ramaphosa a slim victory.

Mr. Zuma technically had more than a year left as South Africa’s president. But it became clear he would be forced out much sooner.
South Africans, predicting the end of the Guptas, began tracking the family’s prized Bombardier Global 6000 jet as it traveled to Dubai, Russia, Switzerland and elsewhere.
On Feb. 4, the Guptas turned off the jet’s GPS tracking device, according to Canada’s export credit agency, which had lent the Guptas $41 million to buy the Bombardier. The agency sued to get the plane back, saying the Guptas might use it “to escape justice.”
Ten days later — on the day Mr. Zuma finally gave up and resigned as South Africa’s president — law enforcement officials raided the Gupta estate in Johannesburg. The message was clear: It was over for the Guptas.


Speculation spread that Ajay Gupta had fled aboard his private jet. A South African pilot, who had supposedly refused to take off, briefly became a hero on Twitter. But they were just rumors.
In fact, most of the family and their private jet were already in India for a wedding, Ajay said.
And on Feb. 6, as the battle in the A.N.C. raged, Ajay boarded an Emirates red-eye flight to Dubai, airport officials later confirmed.
On his last flight out, Ajay said, he kept to his normal routine, avoiding meals and movies. He closed his eyes and drifted off.
Outside it was cloudy and windy. The plane banked north and flew up the continent’s eastern coast, taking him out of Africa.

The Guptas’ personal helipad in Saharanpur.CreditSaumya Khandelwal for The New York Times


The Guptas’ personal helipad in Saharanpur.CreditSaumya Khandelwal for The New York Times


Suhasini Raj contributed reporting from New Delhi.
A version of this article appears in print on Dec. 23, 2018 of the New York edition with the headline: In Family’s Rise And Fall, a Tale Of Corruption.
 
BAFA

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summarize basi mkuu ndefu sana
Mkuu hii ni article ya new york times Nimeiona nieweke tu yote ili watu wafaidi kuisoma. Inazungumzia kupanda na kushuka kwa Gupta brothers wao walikuwa wafanyabiashara wenye nguvu wenye asili ya kihindi south africa , walikuwa na ushawishi mkubwa serikali ya zuma. Lakini asili ya nguvu yao ilianza kwa mbeki ikatamalaki ktk serikali ya Zuma. Wakafikia mahala wakamfanya mtt wa Zuma na mtt wa katibu mkuu wa ANC wakati huo kuwa business partner wao. Utajiri wao umekuja ndani ya miaka 20 kutoka kuuza viatu kuwa mabilionea.
Sasa in short walifika mahala ndani ya south Africa wanajiskia kafanya chochote sehemu waliokwama ni baada ya kujiona wa kiburi kikubwa wakafikia mpaka kuingilia maslahi na kutaka ushindani na biashara ya myahudi (familia ya Harry Oppenheimer) wachimbaji wakubwa wa Almas na matajiri wakubwa south Africa. Hapo ndio anguko lao na anguko La bwana Zuma. Hakika ukisoma hio makala yote itakupa raha sana kujua wnasiasa wa south Africa wamemgusa Mandela kidogo alivokuwa anapewa Mzigo na wayahudi/wazungu, mbeki na hata Zuma.
 
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Dah noma sana ..mayahudi ni hatari mnoo..
Yaaani kuna makala alileta Ndugu barafu hapa kuhusu hio familia ya kiyahudi na ya barick ndio nikarelate kilichomtokea Zuma na naamini kbsa malema na chama chake ni mpango maalum wa wazungu
 
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Yaaani kuna makala alileta Ndugu barafu hapa kuhusu hio familia ya kiyahudi na ya barick ndio nikarelate kilichomtokea Zuma na naamini kbsa malema na chama chake ni mpango maalum wa wazungu
Hao jana huwa awashindwi kitu aise ..ni watu wenye akili nyingi sana..hata ukicheki taifa kaa Marekani, bila mkono wa myahudi asingekuwa apo alipo..
 
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Elimu elimu elimu nimeileta hapa kwa manufaa maalum article hii kama huwez kusoma usidiscourage wenzako. All by all jf sio Twitter kuwa ina limit ya maandishi
Nimesoma hii article yote nikidhani nitakutana na sehemu kuwa Guptas wana uhusiano na Wayahudi lakini sijaona hata sehemu moja
 
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Sijui hata uhatari wa wayahudi unahusiana vipi na hii habari ya Gupta,
zuma alikua kabakiza mwaka mmoja tu kabla hajaondolewa,naona ANC ni kawaida yao kuondoa viongozi wakizengua,kumbuka mbeki alivyotolewa kwenye umwenyekiti wa chama,hapa hakuna cha uyahudi wala nini,
halafu Gupta na sifa zote zile kumbe wana utajili wa milion 800 usd?!!
Hawamzidi hata MO
 
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Mkuu hii ni article ya new york times Nimeiona nieweke tu yote ili watu wafaidi kuisoma. Inazungumzia kupanda na kushuka kwa Gupta brothers wao walikuwa wafanyabiashara wenye nguvu wenye asili ya kihindi south africa , walikuwa na ushawishi mkubwa serikali ya zuma. Lakini asili ya nguvu yao ilianza kwa mbeki ikatamalaki ktk serikali ya Zuma. Wakafikia mahala wakamfanya mtt wa Zuma na mtt wa katibu mkuu wa ANC wakati huo kuwa business partner wao. Utajiri wao umekuja ndani ya miaka 20 kutoka kuuza viatu kuwa mabilionea.
Sasa in short walifika mahala ndani ya south Africa wanajiskia kafanya chochote sehemu waliokwama ni baada ya kujiona wa kiburi kikubwa wakafikia mpaka kuingilia maslahi na kutaka ushindani na biashara ya myahudi (familia ya Harry Oppenheimer) wachimbaji wakubwa wa Almas na matajiri wakubwa south Africa. Hapo ndio anguko lao na anguko La bwana Zuma. Hakika ukisoma hio makala yote itakupa raha sana kujua wnasiasa wa south Africa wamemgusa Mandela kidogo alivokuwa anapewa Mzigo na wayahudi/wazungu, mbeki na hata Zuma.
Hii inatufunza machungu anayopata JPM kutokana na kujaribu kupambana na mafisadi. Umeona ni jinsi gani Mandela alipendwa sababu alikubaliana na myahudi, Mbeki kifo chake kisiasa alitaka kufanya kama JPM na kifo cha Zuma ni pale akina Gupta kutunishana misuri na myahudi.
 
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Sijui hata uhatari wa wayahudi unahusiana vipi na hii habari ya Gupta,
zuma alikua kabakiza mwaka mmoja tu kabla hajaondolewa,naona ANC ni kawaida yao kuondoa viongozi wakizengua,kumbuka mbeki alivyotolewa kwenye umwenyekiti wa chama,hapa hakuna cha uyahudi wala nini,
halafu Gupta na sifa zote zile kumbe wana utajili wa milion 800 usd?!!
Hawamzidi hata MO
Huoni heshima hadi sasa ya Mandela ni kukubali kuwa na myahudi? Huoni Myahudi alivyokula sahani moja na weupe ili weusi nao wajimwae? Huoni kuporomoka kwa zuma kulitokana na Gupta kujifanya much know kwa myahudi?
 
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Mkuu hii ni article ya new york times Nimeiona nieweke tu yote ili watu wafaidi kuisoma. Inazungumzia kupanda na kushuka kwa Gupta brothers wao walikuwa wafanyabiashara wenye nguvu wenye asili ya kihindi south africa , walikuwa na ushawishi mkubwa serikali ya zuma. Lakini asili ya nguvu yao ilianza kwa mbeki ikatamalaki ktk serikali ya Zuma. Wakafikia mahala wakamfanya mtt wa Zuma na mtt wa katibu mkuu wa ANC wakati huo kuwa business partner wao. Utajiri wao umekuja ndani ya miaka 20 kutoka kuuza viatu kuwa mabilionea.
Sasa in short walifika mahala ndani ya south Africa wanajiskia kafanya chochote sehemu waliokwama ni baada ya kujiona wa kiburi kikubwa wakafikia mpaka kuingilia maslahi na kutaka ushindani na biashara ya myahudi (familia ya Harry Oppenheimer) wachimbaji wakubwa wa Almas na matajiri wakubwa south Africa. Hapo ndio anguko lao na anguko La bwana Zuma. Hakika ukisoma hio makala yote itakupa raha sana kujua wnasiasa wa south Africa wamemgusa Mandela kidogo alivokuwa anapewa Mzigo na wayahudi/wazungu, mbeki na hata Zuma.
WELL NOTED
NGOJA NIFATILIE
 
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gupta ni newcomer africakusini,huwezi linganisha na hao wayahudi wa Deebers,hata kiutajiri tu hawa Gupta kumbe hawamzidi hata MO wa bongo,asilimia kubwa ya makaburu ni wayahudi,hakuna jipya kwa hii family moja ya kiyahudi kuegemea upande wa mandela enzi za ubaguzi,hata nyerere kuna wazungu walimsupport enzi za ukoloni
 
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Huoni heshima hadi sasa ya Mandela ni kukubali kuwa na myahudi? Huoni Myahudi alivyokula sahani moja na weupe ili weusi nao wajimwae? Huoni kuporomoka kwa zuma kulitokana na Gupta kujifanya much know kwa myahudi?
Mkuu ahsante kwa kumuelekeza yaan lbda ttz lugha ama hajui critical thinking huyo jamaa
 
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Sijui hata uhatari wa wayahudi unahusiana vipi na hii habari ya Gupta,
zuma alikua kabakiza mwaka mmoja tu kabla hajaondolewa,naona ANC ni kawaida yao kuondoa viongozi wakizengua,kumbuka mbeki alivyotolewa kwenye umwenyekiti wa chama,hapa hakuna cha uyahudi wala nini,
halafu Gupta na sifa zote zile kumbe wana utajili wa milion 800 usd?!!
Hawamzidi hata MO
Una hakika umesoma hio article kaka "
They flew everywhere: across oceans in their own planes, to their own helipad here in Saharanpur, to Hindu temples in the Himalayas.
And they became so powerful that they clashed with the Oppenheimers — the family that once owned the De Beers diamond company and the mining giant Anglo American — whose influence in South Africa had been unrivaled for a century.
But as the Guptas brandished their power, they incited a backlash, not only from ordinary South Africans, but also from a far more powerful constituency: the white-led business establishment and its allies, both increasingly worried that the brothers were putting the country’s economic health at risk".
 

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