When you read about how deep our State Capture goes, it’s easy to believe that everyone rolled over when the Guptas came calling.
The #GuptaLeaks continue to expose the puppet masters and those who danced for them, but there are still examples of people who refused to do their bidding.
I wouldn’t quite call this a good news story, but perhaps we should run through four examples of individuals who weren’t willing to be corrupted.
Yeah, I suppose in this day and age those doing an honest day’s work are relatively hard to come by.
Karen Ferreira, Transnet
Transnet’s business support manager, Karen Ferreira, was viewed as so obstructive to the Gupta’s plans to milk the parastatal that she was the subject of a complaint letter from one of the Guptas’ lieutenants. Ferreira’s offence? She questioned why a Gupta front company, Zestilor, had been given a contract to supply IT data services to Transnet without proper tender processes having been followed…
As it emerged, Ferreira was right to be suspicious. Zestilor turned out to be owned by the wife of Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa, with funds channelled back to the Guptas’ computer company, Sahara.
Thabani Mashego, Eskom
From 2014, the Guptas began pushing for an Eskom coal contract for their mining company, Tegeta. This was despite the fact that Tegeta’s Brakfontein coal was both poor quality and overpriced…
In September 2015, Tegeta chief executive Ravindra Nath emailed Eskom to push for a further three-year contract to supply coal as a “value-adding trader”. A back-and-forth ensued in which Eskom official Thabani Mashego essentially told the Guptas that they would have to follow the same tender application process as everyone else – words that the family was clearly unused to hearing.
After a particularly imperious email from Nath in which he instructed Mashego to “execute the contract”, Mashego replied:
“Eskom will be going out on open enquiry to fulfill their coal shortfall requirements going forward. Tegeta is therefore advised to respond to such enquiries, which will be advertised in the print media and the Eskom Tender Bulletin shortly.”
Mashego held the line – but, as amaBhungane notes, others did not. It ended up being of little relevance to Tegeta, which proceeded to become a major coal supplier to Eskom anyway.
10 points for effort, anyway.
Rone Alex, KPMG
Audit firm KPMG has come under fire as a result of the #Guptaleaks emails for its cosy relationship with the Guptas and apparent willingness to look the other way in the face of artificially manipulated finances.
Still, at least one KPMG employee had both eyes on the prize. Rone Alex was the junior auditor at the firm who attempted to voice concerns about why the Gupta company Linkway Trading was paying the R30-million bill for the Guptas’ lavish 2013 Sun City wedding as a “business expense”.
The #GuptaLeaks trove shows that on 18 September 2014, Alex emailed her superior – audit partner Jacques Wessels – to record: “We are of the opinion that these [wedding-related] costs are most probably not in the production of Linkway’s income”. Alex also asked for “more clarity on the purpose of this company [Linkway]”.
But such concerns were evidently swept aside.
Not a good look at all, KMPG – you can read more about that shady wedding bill HERE.
Heidi Gavagnin, Sun City spa
The #GuptaLeaks emails provide evidence of racist attitudes held by the Gupta family, including their demand for white staff in certain roles at the 2013 Sun City wedding. The emails also show that some contractors were willing to comply with the Guptas’ racial preferences – but not Heidi Gavagnin, director of the Gatsby Spa at Sun City.
Following a meeting with Sahara CEO Ashu Chawla, at which Chawla introduced the Guptas’ desire for all-white employees to give their guests spa treatments, Gavagnin emailed to tell Chawla where to get off.
Drily describing the meeting as “certainly interesting”, Gavagnin wrote:
“After discussing the matter with my fellow directors we have come to the conclusion that it would be in neither of our best interests to bring in part time white staff for your very important guests”.
She added: “We would also like to mention that our therapists are of world class standard”.
Don’t forget to add sex pests (HERE) to the long line of things the Guptas should be ashamed of.
Will those who colluded with the Guptas, and those who continue to do so, ever be brought to book? I doubt it, but at least those above can hold their heads high in amongst this mess.
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