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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma’s businessman nephew Khulubuse was among guests seen leaving the exclusive and glamorous multimillion-rand Gupta wedding at Sun City that has been ridden with controversy.
Also seen at Sun City on Thursday was Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu, who was spotted at a fast-food outlet at about 6pm, just an hour before the wedding reception started.
It was not clear if Shabangu was one of the guests.
More guests were believed to have been flown to Sun City in a branded-Sahara helicopter - one of the Guptas’ companies. The helicopter was seen landing, taking off and returning later with more guests. .
Word from workers at the North West resort was that the wealthy Gupta family had “taken over the (Rustenburg resort)… from security right through to the kitchen”.
The Guptas are reported to have brought in their own chefs and additional kitchen staff, own food and other kitchen accessories and some equipment.
The Star has learnt that things got hotter in the kitchen on Wednesday evening when two of the Guptas’ chefs were injured during an alleged gas explosion. One of the two chefs was apparently badly injured, with burns to his arms and hands, and had to be taken to hospital.
The Valley of Waves was open to the public again on Thursday after it was closed for exclusive use by the Guptas to host another leg of the wedding on Tuesday.
The closest the media entourage could get was the other side of the Valley of Waves, where they took pictures - amid warnings not to.
Several plainclothed security officials with two-way radios were seen walking up and down, keeping a close eye on the proceedings and the surrounding area.
Once guests were served their lunch, they were transferred in golf carts to a spot where a motorcade of mostly Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs, Land Rovers and Range Rovers ferried them to their respective hotels to freshen up before the evening reception.
Onlookers watched from the bridge leading to the Valley of Waves as guests boarded their rides.
Some people joined the media in taking pictures, while international guests also stopped, stared and enquired whose wedding it was.
The staff also did indicate that the almost permanent police presence at the resort was “quite unusual”.
Although marked police vehicles were seen parked around the resort and driving up and down, they were never seen escorting any of the guests’ vehicles.
A marked police vehicle was parked at the Sun City entrance, while several other marked vehicles were seen driving up and down the resort, particularly from The Palace, while the wedding was under way.
Several black people were seen carrying food up to the venue following a statement by Cosatu in North West that guests had allegedly refused to be served by black hotel staff. The Star noted, however, that none of the drivers seen chauffeuring the guests and organisers were black. On the other side of Sun City, life was normal, with people enjoying other things offered by the resort, including gambling.
Meanwhile, a source at Sun City told The Star there had been a string of meetings between hotel management, the Guptas and their private service providers to prepare for the big event.
The Star has also learnt that a senior government official had attended one of the many meetings held at Sun City, which was also attended by several managers of various departments at the hotel.
The SABC showed footage of guests at the wedding. Khulubuse and former minister Essop Pahad were among the guests shown. Pahad told the SABC he was at the wedding to have a good time.