South African president’s son resigns from Gupta-run company

Cape Town, April 9 (IANS) South African President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma has resigned as the non-executive director of Oakbay Resources and Energy owned by the Indian Gupta family, a statement said on Saturday.

Duduzane said he quit Oakbay in order to “de-politicise” his participation in business and to preserve jobs, Xinhua cited the statement as saying.

This came after aspersions were “cast on me and my family”, Duduzane said in the statement.

The Gupta family, which reportedly has close ties with President Zuma, his family and the ruling African National Congress (ANC), has been under fire for exerting undue influence on the South African government by offering cabinet posts to ANC officials.

The family has denied the accusation, saying they had fallen victims to the political struggle in the country.

As the scandal was unfolding, a number of South African financial companies, including First National Bank (FNB), Barclays Africa, KPMG and Sasfin, have closed the accounts of Oakbay Investments, the holding company for the Gupta family’s businesses.

In a related development, Atul Gupta and Varun Gupta, senior members of the family, also announced their resignations, respectively as non-executive chairman and chief executive officer at the Oakbay company.

“This decision follows a sustained political attack on the company, and the concern that the jobs and livelihoods of nearly one thousand employees would be at immediate risk as a result of the outgoing director’s association with the company,” Oakbay Resources said in a statement.

Representatives from Oakbay have contacted Zuma and three cabinet ministers over the closure of its bank account.

The South African government has been silent on the report.

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