Activist ‘asked Gupta family for money’

Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama
Picture: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier

Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama went cap in hand asking for financial backing from the Gupta family last year‚ leaked e-mails show.

Reports have alleged the former Economic Freedom Fighters MP might be bankrolled by the Guptas‚ but they have been strenuously denied‚ although he has actively supported the family and their company in public.

Mngxitama has consistently denied that he was funded by the family‚ most recently on May 14 during the BLF’s first-year anniversary event in Soweto.

“There is no slight evidence to back up these claims that are being made by agents of white monopoly capital‚ by the people who are controlled from London and by people funded by newspapers‚” EWN quoted him as saying.

But he certainly went to them and asked for money‚ the e-mails show.

In e-mail exchanges‚ dated 2016‚ with then Oakbay chief executive Nazeem Howa‚ Mngxitama expresses gratitude towards Howa, referring to a meeting they had recently had.

In the e-mails seen by Times Media, Mngxitama writes: “Brother Nazeem it was good to meet and to learn a bit more about your thinking and the truth around the renewed attacks from imperialism and its agents. Keep strong and keep doing the right thing.” Howa forwarded the e-mail to Atul Gupta, informing him that Mngxitama had requested funding.

“Hope all is well your side. I met with this fellow. He wrote a good piece about us in Sunday Indy this past weekend. He wants funding for his organisation. I explained that as business people‚ we have taken conscious decision to stay out of politics‚” the e-mail reads.

Without responding to the e-mail‚ Atul Gupta forwards it to a “Shivani” and Tony Gupta.

Further e-mails indicate Mngxitama met with another Sahara employee‚ Santosh Choubey‚ at least once in March last year.

Choubey said yesterday he used to work in sales and marketing at Sahara‚ the Gupta owned computer company.

“I have no recollection of any of this. I no longer work there‚” Choubey said.

The leaked document suggest an exchange of at least 10 e-mails between Choubey and Mngxitama between February and March‚ the final exchange confirming a meeting at a restaurant in Sandton. Mngxitama said the reports were rubbish. He accused reporters of lying and when offered copies of phone records‚ he again said the report was rubbish.

“I don’t give a f**k man‚” he said‚ demanding evidence he had spoken to Gupta associates.

“It is a fake e-mail you created. You have created a fake e-mail.”

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