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Zuma's son resigns from Gupta firm

Zuma's son resigns from Gupta firm

South Africa

The son of South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma has resigned from a mining company owned by the wealthy and controversial Indian family, the Guptas.

Duduzane Zuma’s decision to quit his position according to the BBC was due to “a sustained political attack.”

Duduzane, who is a director of Shiva Uranium, the main subsidiary of Oakbay Resources, the main mining holding company by the Guptas, is quoted by Reuters as saying: “I have decided to relinquish all positions that I hold at Oakbay companies and am exiting investments to preserve the jobs of Oakbay’s thousands of employees and to de-politicise my participation in business.”

Duduzane’s announcement on Friday comes days after the First National Bank, a unit of FirstRand Bank, joined three other South African companies in quitting as bankers and auditors of companies owned by the Gupta family, reports Reuters.

The mine is 26 percent-owned by Islandsite 255, a company of which Duduzane is also a director and employs 648 people.

President Zuma has come under severe criticism for allowing the Guptas influence some government decisions such as the appointment of key ministers.

Allegations of the Guptas meddling in politics surfaced in March when South Africa’s deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jonas said the Guptas had offered him the position of finance minister shortly before his boss, Nhlanhla Nene was sacked by president Zuma.

But both the president and the Gupta family have denied the allegations.

President Zuma is facing increased pressure to resign over his relationship with the Guptas as well as for spending over $15 million on upgrading his private residence at Nkandla in the KwaZulu Natal province.

The Constitutional Court recently ruled that President Zuma should pay back the money used for non-security upgrade to his house.

Meanwhile Oakbay, which said it had created 3,500 jobs in South Africa’s mining sector, said in a statement that its chairman Atul Gupta and Chief Executive, Varun Gupta had resigned with immediate effect.

The Guptas moved from India to South Africa in 1993 and have acquired interests in computers, mining and air travel.

Mr Zuma’s critics have said his relationship to the Guptas is so close that they describe the two families as the “Zuptas.”

News Agencies

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