How Guptas got billions in income and kickbacks


WHILE companies linked to them earned more than R49-billion, the Gupta family received a further R15.9-billion in kickbacks from third parties who got contracts from the South African government and state-owned companies as a result of the family’s political influence.

These revelations were made at the judicial commission into state capture, corruption and theft by Paul Holden, a director at Shadow World Investigations. 

Holden outlined to the commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the flow of money from government department, state-owned enterprises to over 200 companies. He has analysed thousands of banking transactions, accounts that traced the movement of money linked to alleged state capture and corruption.

According to Holden’s research, the R15.9-billion in kickbacks came from multibillion rail projects at Transnet. The breakdown shows that the kickbacks were paid from four contracts to purchase locomotives, a maintenance contract, the CNR relocation project and purchase of cranes from Liebherr and ZPMC.

Holden’s probe revealed that billions flowed from government departments and state-owned enterprises to companies linked to the Gupta family, who fled SA and are now based in Dubai. The companies that received the money include McKinsey, KPMG, PwC, Estina, Sunbay Trading and Regiments Capital.

He said the billions, acquired illegally, were used by the Gupta family  or related companies to purchase significant assets which include a coal mine

 According to Holden’s investigations, seven departments from the Free State provincial government spent millions to the following companies linked to the Gupta family:

  • The Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development paid R24-million to Nulane, R280-million to Estina and R12-million to Tsebo Business Intelligence.
  • The Free State Department of Education paid R28-million to Sunbay Ltd.
  • The Office of the Premier paid R4.5-million to Sunbay Ltd.
  • The Free State Department of Health paid R28-million to Mediosa.

Holden’s investigation has also revealed that the Regiments Group earned over R1.2-billion from contracts with state-owned enterprises.  These included:

  • Transnet: R1.8-billion.
  • Transnet defined Benefit Pension Fund – R248-million.
  • South African Airways – R6.2-million.
  • SA Express – R8.2-million.
  • Free State Provident Fund – R2.3-million.
  • SAFCOL – R5.7-million.
  • Denel – R7.9-million

He also revealed that Eskom had paid over R1.1-billion to McKinsney. Some of the payment was for the “Master Plan” and a “Corporate Plan”.

The hearing continues.

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