NEWS
01/03/2018 06:41 SAST | Updated 01/03/2018 06:41 SAST

Parliament's Eskom Inquiry Can't Find The Guptas Either

Meanwhile, the Guptas have launched a court bid to stop the Bank of Baroda from leaving SA.

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The Parliamentary inquiry into state capture at Eskom wants to summon the Guptas to appear before it, but MPs cannot locate them, TimesLive reported. The committee wants the Guptas to appear on March 13.

ANC MP and chairperson of the inquiry, Zukiswa Rantho reportedly said on Wednesday that the committee wrote to the lawyers who last represented the Gupta family, but they were told that the firm no longer represented them.

"It's still a problem, the issue of the Guptas because we don't know where they are but we're going to look for them. We'll have to check if we can find them in Saxonwold‚ or an office where they now operate from‚ those that are here‚ because we only know of one person who's outside the country.

"We did try to check with the lawyers and the lawyers said the Guptas and their associates are no longer their clients," Rantho said.

In a court affidavit, Atul Gupta said he was overseas in Dubai, but the location of his brothers Ajay and Rajesh is unknown. Ajay is being sought by the Hawks.

"Even if it means we have to send a registered letter to their residence in Saxonwold‚ we hope they will respond to the registered letter. If that does not work out‚ we will then have to seek legal advice on how to find [one of the Gupta brothers] who are said to be in the country but we can't find his address," Rantho reportedly said.

Atul Gupta was recently spotted at the South African consulate in Dubai.

Business Day reported on Wednesday that 19 Gupta companies have launched an urgent court bid to try to keep the Bank of Baroda in the country. It is the only bank still doing business with the Guptas, after all, other banks closed their accounts, and it wants to leave the country.

The Gupta companies reportedly argue that the closure of the bank's SA branches is a breach of an interim order granted last year, preventing the bank from closing the Gupta accounts. The final application of that matter has yet to be heard.

According to Business day, all 19 companies have banking facilities with the bank. Annex, Sahara Computers and VR Laser have overdraft facilities at the bank, while Confident has two term loans, of which the last instalment is due at the end of 2019.

This week, the Organised Crime and Corruption Project (OCCRP) reported that the bank was crucial in facilitating dodgy transactions, possibly set up to hide and launder money by the Guptas.

According to Daily Maverick, UK MP and former anti-apartheid activist Peter Hain wrote to the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, requesting a multi-agency probe into the bank's UK operations.