Email saga shows Gup­tas’ colo­nial mind­set at its worst

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Muham­mad Omar

THE re­cent is­sue around Bell Pot­tinger/Gup­tas clearly shows the Gupta-linked busi­nesses and share­hold­ers had very lit­tle faith in ei­ther South African or even their In­dian tal­ent; they had to re­cruit a firm in the UK to han­dle their in­for­ma­tion cam­paign.

Opt­ing for a Bri­tish firm and not a South African-owned en­tity seems strange, es­pe­cially when you want to be a ben­e­fi­ciary of SA’s BEE laws.

The Gupta as­so­ci­a­tion shows how far and wide its busi­ness in­ter­ests have spread with top in­ter­na­tional firms linked to the email saga.

For these com­pa­nies to be probed by their in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts and gov­ern­ing bod­ies clearly shows that SA laws were and are not the only ap­pli­ca­ble author­ity.

For Oak­bay to be de-listed and var­i­ous firms and banks re­fus­ing to be as­so­ci­ated with the Gup­tas says a lot.

Ul­ti­mately, the ques­tions to ask are who were the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fi­cia­ries and how did this ben­e­fit the coun­try and were all such deal­ings above board?

The email saga is re­ally work of some su­perb jour­nal­ism. The al­le­ga­tions are se­ri­ous and show how some weak SA busi­ness lead­ers fell into the Gup­tas’ seem­ingly down­ward spi­ral and even­tu­ally into ob­scu­rity.

Im­por­tantly, pick­ing a Bri­tish firm that gets paid in pounds to tell a South African story from SA prof­its and gov­ern­ment con­tracts makes no sense. Are South African busi­nesses or tal­ent that use­less that we need a Bri­tish firm to tell our story? This is a colo­nial mind­set of the low­est and worst or­der. Glen­more Cres, Dur­ban North

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