No Guptas in night of Gandhi
● There might not have been a Gupta in sight, but a few ministers, a former first lady, business folk and even an ex-Generations actress turned up for the Indian high commissioner’s dinner last Sunday.
Held at the Sandton Convention Centre, this knees-up was part of the India-South Africa Business Summit.
India invests about $8-billion (about R101-billion) in our economy while we have a $1-billion stake in India’s.
“Tonight we honour our countries through collaboration, our people with compassion and our shared histories through art,” was how Indian high commissioner Ruchira Kamboj summed up the evening, which was themed around Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.
Someone kept on their toes was couturier Gavin Rajah. Not only did he put together the evening but, along with new designer Stephen van Eeden, the A-Lister showed a collection inspired by Indian khadi cloth.
Grammy-winning flautist Wouter Kellerman and the
Tribhangi Dance Theatre provided the rest of the entertainment. Fittingly, our three-course meal’s starters included cauliflower and brinjal pakoda drizzled with chakalaka oil. Mains featured tikka-flavoured chicken, Ballantine and bobotie. Dessert was spicy burfee ice cream, marsala-infused milk tart and cardamom flavoured malva pudding.
Seated at the main table alongside Noel Tata, the chairman and MD of the eponymous Indian multinational, was Zanele Mbeki, wife of former president Thabo Mbeki, in a great African print dress. A couple of seats away was India’s minister for commerce and industry, Suresh Prabhu, who gave the night’s keynote speech, and was flanked by his South African counterpart, Rob Davies, and Pravin Gordhan, our minister of public enterprises.
Elsewhere around the room I spotted billionaire Vivian Reddy, who, like those absent Guptas, is known for being tight with former president Jacob Zuma, Goldman Sachs’s Colin Coleman, his glamorous other half, Nerina Labuschagne, and former Generations actress Tarina Patel.
Rob Davies, Suresh Prabhu and Pravin Gordhan at the Indian high commissioner’s dinner at the Sandton Convention Centre last Saturday.
Zanele Mbeki, left, and India’s high commissioner to South Africa, Ruchira Kamboj.