NEWS

MPs Concerned The Guptas Are Planning To Skip The Country

The inquiry on the Gupta family will continue, says portfolio committee chair.

24/08/2017 07:22 SAST | Updated 24/08/2017 07:22 SAST
Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan (L) chats with Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, during a media briefing. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Following the news that the Gupta family has decided to sell its coal mining assets to a little-known Swiss company, MPs have expressed concerns that the family plans to sell off its assets and skip the country, The Star reported on Thursday.

Informally, MPs reportedly want to talk to law enforcement agencies about their concerns and the South African Revenue Services (Sars) could be looking into the matter.

The Guptas also announced the sale of their media assets, The New Age and ANN7, to Mzwanele Manyi this week. The two sales have raised concerns that the Guptas are trying to find a bank that will assist them, after the South African banks closed their accounts. The Bank of Baroda is set to close the Gupta family's accounts at the end of August.

ANC MP and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan told The Star that MPs had "raised concerns about these sales as they are in the public interest" and referred further questions to Parliament's public enterprises portfolio committee acting chairperson, Zukiswa Rantho.

The committee is currently investigating state capture and concerns have been raised about whether or not the Guptas will skip the country before they can be called before it.

Rantho told The Star the issue of the family selling its assets was raised informally after a committee meeting on Wednesday.

"The suspicion was that they are selling their companies because they are leaving the country. But at this stage, we haven't got anything concrete that they are planning to leave the country," Rantho is quoted as saying.

"The suggestion is that we should ask for information from our law enforcement agencies on how real the threat is of them leaving the country. However, we are going to continue with the inquiry on them, there is nothing stopping us at this stage."

The Gupta family, via their lawyer, could not be reached for comment.