No big news as ‘shy’ Gup­tas talk

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

THE GUP­TAS have made head­lines in the South African me­dia vir­tu­ally ev­ery day for the last few months. But, de­spite the se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against them, none of the brothers (Ajay, Atul and Ra­jesh) saw fit to re­spond to lo­cal jour­nal­ists.

They’ve even shunned the news­pa­per and tele­vi­sion sta­tion they own.

Then, two days ago, the Bri­tish Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion car­ried a story in which they in­ter­viewed Atul Gupta. It was probably the first time most peo­ple would have heard his voice.

The four-part in­ves­tiga­tive se­ries will probe Bell Pot­tinger, the United King­dom pub­lic re­la­tions firm, and the busi­ness they did with the Gup­tas.

The com­pany is ac­cused of coin­ing the phrase “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal” and, by so do­ing, fo­ment­ing racial ten­sion in South Africa.

Dur­ing the interview, Atul Gupta claimed the phrase had ex­isted for a long time and he went on to deny the au­then­tic­ity of the so-called Gupta emails.

It was in­ter­est­ing the Gup­tas chose to speak to the BBC, an or­gan­i­sa­tion that’s ar­guably clos­est to “white mo­nop­oly cap­i­tal”.

His re­sponse to the ques­tions were also in­ter­est­ing.

In-be­tween dodg­ing the ques­tions, the an­swers could be summed up along the fol­low­ing lines: “I don’t know, no­body told me any­thing, it wasn’t me.”

Sounds fa­mil­iar?

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