In case you were worried about the poor Guptas – who literally fled the country in the dead of night with law enforcement snapping at their heels – don’t be. The corruption-accused family got rid of their South African assets when the banks closed their accounts, sparking job losses at their mining and media companies.
While you’d be forgiven for thinking this means they were poor, you’d be wrong. AmaBhungane reported on Friday that the family is set to host another extravagant wedding, which will set them back R100 million. The five-day event takes place in Abu Dhabi from February 19 and features a double wedding – for Rajesh Gupta’s daughter, and Atul Gupta’s son.
According to amaBhungane, the last page of the wedding invite also features logos of the Gupta’s South African assets, including the now-closed Koornfontein mine. At least 6 people died underground at the mine after a gas explosion, while a further 20 were trapped below the surface. Workers have gone unpaid since October and the mine is under business rescue.
Let them eat (wedding) cake.
In other news
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) did not disrupt the State of the Nation (Sona) address on Thursday night, but they managed to steal the show in another way. EFF MP Marshall Dlamini was caught on camera slapping a plain clothes police officer in Parliament. The officer moves backwards away from the MP before the attack, leading to confusion as to what set Dlamini off.
The EFF claimed on Friday that Dlamini reacted because the party had been warned of a right wing assassination plot against leader Julius Malema. It sounds like a bit of a stretch – considering previous violent tendencies involving some of its leadership. EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu was caught on film assaulting a Netwerk24 journalist last year. He apologised for the incident and was reported to Parliament’s ethics committee. But he still sought to justify it by saying he did not realise the person he was assaulting was a journalist.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Thursday that he will unbundle beleaguered power utility Eskom into three separate entities has already met union resistance. Numsa has vowed to mobilise against Ramaphosa’s plan, which the union says amounts to “privatisation through the back door”.
Numsa believes the move will lead to job losses. But some experts say it will allow Eskom to raise funding more easily – something it must do it if wants to decrease its massive debt. Ramaphosa described the entity as being in “crisis”. He has been under massive pressure from investors, who say Eskom’s instability is stopping them from putting their money into the country.
Will Ramaphosa, a former unionist himself, be able to save Eskom without lengthy strikes?