Guptas at it again – workers unpaid but new R100m wedding planned

The Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi where the Gupta family are reportedly hosting a lavish double wedding in February 2019.
The Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi where the Gupta family are reportedly hosting a lavish double wedding in February 2019.
Image: Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi

The Guptas are reported to be hosting a lavish double wedding at a palatial hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism published a nine-page wedding invitation on Friday and said the bash, an event lasting five days between February 19 and 23, could end up costing as much as R100m.

“The wedding is a double feature, with Rajesh ‘Tony’ Gupta’s daughter Shubhangi Singhala marrying Chetan Jain and Atul Gupta’s son Srikant Singhala tying the knot with Akhya Bansal.

“This is the third publicly lavish wedding the family has funded,” AmaBhungane said.

The logos of Gupta companies in South Africa, including the Koornfontein mine where miners have gone unpaid, are featured in the wedding invitation.

The publication said a request for comment directed to a Gupta lawyer in South Africa had gone unanswered.

The Gupta family made headlines when they hosted the “wedding of the century” at Sun City in 2013.

More than 200 guests arrived in a passenger jet that landed without permission from the military at Waterkloof Air Force Base.

Vega Gupta married Aakash Jahajgarhia in a lavish wedding that raised questions about then President Jacob Zuma’s apparently cosy relationship with the wealthy Gupta family. That R30m bash included chocolates to the value of R13‚088.

News of the latest pricey wedding comes after a dismal Christmas for thousands of coal miners in Mpumalanga where the future of the formerly Gupta-owned coal mines of Optimum and Koornfontein is uncertain.

BusinessLIVE reported in October 2018 that Ajay Gupta‚ the eldest brother of the family that stands accused of being at the centre of state capture allegations‚ said the family had “never asked any minister for any commercial benefit”.

In an in-depth interview in Dubai with the New York Times‚ Gupta said he would testify at the Zondo commission into state capture‚ “but not at this moment”.

“I want to clear my name‚” he told the paper.

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