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The Guptas Claim They Were Victims Of Monopoly Capital, Deny All State Capture Allegations

"No one is ever available to bring proof of that. We don’t know what they are talking [about]," said Atul Gupta on state capture.

03/08/2017 15:25 SAST | Updated 03/08/2017 15:25 SAST
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The Gupta brothers with Oakbay MD Jagdish Parekh and Duduzane Zuma.

Atul Gupta has denied every allegation of state capture against his family, claiming they were the victims of a "monopoly capital" group of South African businesses which do not want competition in the country.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, the controversial businessman said the industries his family entered into "disrupted" regular businesses in these sectors.

"The minute we achieve, this disruption goes. Then we sit and could not understand why so much resistance coming in this country. Slowly, we understand this monopoly capital that is behind this media ownership that does not [want] any new competitor to come in the country," Gupta said.

Read: Atul Gupta: Leaked State Capture Emails Are 'Not Authentic'

Asked if the family's success does not show that non-white businesspeople can thrive in South Africa, Gupta replied: "What do you call success? Few families are controlling this country. They do not want any newcomer to come in on that level."

Gupta said the family's government income only constitutes 8.9 percent of their revenue.

"If you look at state capture, please understand from the allegations... we as Gupta family, the 23 years of business, is not state business at all. This report [former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report] is totally inconclusive. There is no real finding in there. Our revenue is not even 8.9 percent [from government]. They are not looking at the real state capture," Gupta said.

"No one is ever available to bring proof of that. We don't know what they are talking [about]. We have given our affidavit."

Commenting on allegations that the family offered a bribe to former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas to become finance minister, Gupta said it was "news to him".

"Most of these things are news to me as well. We don't know what he is talking. We don't know why our name is being dragged in all these things without any reason. They're running their own agenda," Gupta said.

He also said the family did not inflate prices for coal in their dealings with Eskom and denied receiving payments from China South Rail in the locomotive deal.

"When you stay a little more in South Africa, you understand how the systems work. Do I look after my business, my employees, or go after this gossip newsletters? What do I do, please?"

He said the family does not do business with government.

"What contracts, show me?" he asked.

"Monopoly capital does not want us to do business in this country. Political matters have nothing to do with us, we are a simple business family... The deputy president [Cyril Ramaphosa] has been misinformed about this. I am happy to cooperate with any credible probe," Gupta said.

"I wanted to stay in South Africa forever. I'm proudly South African. I'm a living example of financial liberation. I'm doing a very, very ethical job."