Duduzane Zuma has close ties with the Gupta family. Picture: Chris Collingridge
Duduzane Zuma has close ties with the Gupta family. Picture: Chris Collingridge
Jacob Zuma has staunchly defended his friendship with the controversial family.
Jacob Zuma has staunchly defended his friendship with the controversial family.
The Gupta compound in Saxonwold. Picture: Supplied
The Gupta compound in Saxonwold. Picture: Supplied
Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas was allegedly offered the finance minister's job at a meeting with the Guptas at their Saxonwold compound.
Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas was allegedly offered the finance minister's job at a meeting with the Guptas at their Saxonwold compound.
Former president Thabo Mbeki
Former president Thabo Mbeki
Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene
Former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene
Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan
Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan
A timeline of the Gupta family's dealings inside South Africa from their arrival in 1993 to the raid on the Sawonwold compound this week.


The Guptas arrive in South Africa.


They establish Sahara Computers.


Jacob Zuma meets the Guptas for the first time.

Ajay Gupta serves on the International Marketing Council from its inception in 2002.


The Gupta-owned Sahara Computers sign a memorandum of understanding with the Samajwadi Party government headed by Mulayam Singh to set up an electronics unit in Greater Noida, India.


Events at the ANC’s Polokwane elective conference mark a seismic shift in the political world. President Thabo Mbeki is ousted as president of the ANC after his attempt to secure a third term as ANC president fails. He is replaced by Zuma.


They fund Essop Pahad’s publication, The Thinker.


President Thabo Mbeki is ousted after being recalled by the ANC.


In the run-up to the elections, the Guptas provide Zuma with planes and helicopters to take him to locations throughout South Africa.

The Guptas bring the Indian Premier League to SA after the cricket series is cancelled in India due to security concerns.


The acting head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mokotedi Mpshe, announces that the prosecution of President Jacob Zuma on corruption charges will be discontinued.

May 9

Zuma is inaugurated as president of South Africa. He quotes Nelson Mandela in his speech, saying: “He set us on the path of nation-building and prosperity and made us a respected member of the world community of nations.”


After only six months in office, it emerges that Zuma’s Nkandla compound is getting a R65-million upgrade at the taxpayers’ expense.


Zwelinzima Vavi warns at Cosatu’s congress in 2010 that South Africa is turning into a predatory state. The political elite was feeding off state resources without a care for the welfare of the republic, he said.

April 14

Atul Gupta and Duduzane Zuma take over as directors of the Dominion holding company.

April 30

The Mail & Guardian reports that Zuma attended a meeting with one of the Gupta brothers and former ANC spokesperson and presidency official Jessie Duarte in February to discuss the establishment of an ANC-friendly newspaper. The Guptas and Duarte deny the meeting.

May 14

Toronto-listed Uranium One says it has sold its South African subsidiary, of which the main asset is the Dominion mine in Klerksdorp, for $37 million (about R280m) in April.


The Guptas acquire part of ArcelorMittal’s R9bn empowerment deal, raising questions about who is eligible for state empowerment programmes. The Guptas and Duduzane Zuma scored a R9 billion deal - ahead of a consortium led by ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete - that gives them a stake in global steel giant ArcelorMittal worth more than R3bn.

September 12

Duduzane Zuma says in a statement: “I am very pleased to announce that I have decided to forgo 70% of my proposed allocation (in ArcellorMittal) and spread it among other South Africans who are needy and disadvantaged like I once was.”

September 27

The Guptas launch their newspaper, The New Age. At the ANC’s national general council, Pallo Jordan holds up a copy of the paper specially delivered to the conference.


The Nkandla scandal continues to grow and so too does the Gupta-Zuma saga.

The Mail & Guardian reveals that one of Zuma’s then-fiancées, Gloria Bongi Ngema, landed a plum job with the Gupta family. And the president’s controversial friends may have facilitated his bride-to-be’s purchase of a R5.2m home in the upmarket Pretoria suburb of Waterkloof.

March 2

Cope MP Philip Dexter says: “In the last week, announcements have shown Duduzane Zuma to be a shareholder in the proposed new steel plant that Lazarus Zim is initiating. This comes hot on the heels of his shareholding in the ArcelorMittal deal. Apart from the blatant conflict of interest, this reveals the pattern of this accumulation by the Zuma clan. Zim, for his loyalty, has now been appointed Telkom chair.”

Calling for a full-scale investigation into the business interests of the Zuma family, Dexter said: “It is clear this pattern of a family enriching itself due to its relationship (with) the head of state is unashamedly playing itself out. The Guptas and Zim are being rewarded for their support of Zuma politically and financially.”


Brothers Ajay and Atul Gupta believe that they are losing millions of rand due to the “constant negative publicity” surrounding their friendship with President Jacob Zuma and his family.

They say when government ministers visit their luxury compound in Saxonwold, northern Johannesburg, they do so as friends and not in their official capacity.

August 7

Essop Pahad breaks all business ties with the Gupta family after years of serving as the billionaire clan’s key Mbeki-era ally.


In 2012, DA national spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko writes to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on two occasions, asking her to investigate whether Zuma’s family is benefiting unduly from upgrades at his Nkandla compound.



A private plane taking guests to a Gupta family wedding at Sun City lands at Waterkloof Air Force Base outside Pretoria. It later emerges that the chief of state protocol, Bruce Koloane, facilitated the landing on the instruction of “Number One”.

December 5

Nelson Mandela dies and South Africans are becoming increasingly fed up with Zuma’s scandal-ridden presidency.


September 1

Eskom coal scientists Mark van der Riet and Charlotte Ramavhona are suspended after conflicting lab results raised concerns about the quality of coal that Eskom received from Tegeta Exploration and Resources, the Gupta-controlled owner of Brakfontein.

November 27

According to a Sunday Times report published in March 2016, a meeting between Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and the Guptas took place at about 3pm at a Sandton hotel on the last Friday of November 2015.


Zuma announces the axing of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and appoints the little-known David “Des” van Rooyen. A former mayor of Johannesburg’s West Rand, Van Rooyen arrives at the National Treasury with two advisers linked to the Guptas, Mohamed Bobat and Ian Whitley.

Van Rooyen stays in the job for just four days as Zuma’s announcement sends the rand into a nosedive, sparking outrage. Zuma moves Van Rooyen to a different portfolio and reappoints Pravin Gordhan, a former finance minister.

December 9

A nuclear procurement pro- gramme is approved by the cabinet.


Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan faces trumped-up criminal charges. The case plunges the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and the South African Revenue Service into a deep crisis amid allegations that these state institutions are being used to aid the Gupta family’s supposed quest to have a pliable finance minister installed.


Denel announces a joint venture with VR Laser Services - a company in which the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, hold a 25% stake. The joint venture, known as Denel Asia, is set to sell Denel products to the Asian market.


Zuma is under increasing pressure as a national fight-back campaign against state capture begins. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela launches her investigation into Zuma’s alleged unethical conduct and that of other state functionaries. The probe relates to claims that the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma are involved in removing and appointing ministers and directors of state-owned companies, resulting in Gupta-linked companies allegedly benefiting improperly and, possibly, corruptly from state deals.


The Sunday Times reports that a meeting between Mcebisi Jonas and the Guptas took place at about 3pm at a Sandton hotel on the last Friday of November 2015.


Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas says a member of the Gupta family offered to promote him to the finance minister’s post in 2015.

March 15

ANC MP Vytjie Mentor reveals that the Guptas offered her the job of Minister of Public Enterprises in 2010 but only if she would stop SAA flights to India and give the Guptas the contract for SA-India flights. She says Zuma was in another room of the house when the offer was made.

Mcebisi Jonas releases a public statement confirming that he was offered the job of finance minister by the Guptas.

March 19

Bathabile Dlamini says: “Even that family, if people feel it has to be brought to book, structures must do that, the officials must call them and talk to them and give them a marching order not through shouting outside, because all of us in the NEC (ANC national executive committee) have our small skeletons and we don’t want to take all skeletons out because hell will break loose.”

March 20

The Sunday Times reports that Themba Maseko, the former chief executive of the Government Communications and Information System, said Zuma personally called him late in 2010 to tell him to meet the Gupta brothers at their Saxonwold compound in Johannesburg.

He met with two Gupta brothers and was ordered to put government advertising in the Guptas’ newspaper, The New Age. “(Atul Gupta said): ‘Don’t worry tell us where the money is and tell departments to give you money and if they refuse we will deal with them. If you have a problem with any department, we will summon ministers here.’”

March 20

The ANC’s NEC holds a meeting to discuss allegations against the Guptas. Zuma dares the ANC to fire him, and is supported by the majority of the NEC. The party decides that people approached by the Guptas make submissions to the secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe.

April 8

Four banks close the bank accounts of the Gupta company Oakbay, and it is reported that they approached Zuma for help. Absa and FNB banks, auditors KPMG and Sasfin all terminate their relationships with the Guptas. KPMG announces it will no longer audit the company’s books, and Sasfin, the family’s stock exchange sponsor, abandons them. Atul and Varun Gupta resign their directorships of Oakbay, and Duduzane Zuma resigns from his non-executive chairmanship of Shiva Uranium, an Oakbay subsidiary.

April 9

The EFF’s Floyd Shivambu says the party is sticking to its claim that the Guptas moved R6billion to Dubai.

April 10

The Sunday Times publishes an article saying that Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister David “Des” van Rooyen travelled to Dubai on December 20, 2015, less than two weeks after his ill-fated appointment as finance minister, a post he held for four days. It also revealed that Mosebenzi Zwane and Zuma also visited Dubai, where the Guptas were at the time.

The Guptas are reported to have left South Africa for Dubai.

April 14

The controversial Gupta-linked deal by state-owned arms manufacturer Denel is close to collapse because due processes were not followed, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, making the transaction illegal. Denel and VR Laser Services - a company in which the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma hold a 25% stake - form a joint venture known as Denel Asia, to sell Denel products to the Asian market.

April 15

The Gupta family’s acquisition of the Optimum coal mine from Glencore is concluded.

April 22

The cabinet instructs three ministers to engage with the country’s four major banks over the closing of the Guptas’ bank accounts.

April 25

The governor of the South African Reserve Bank Lesetja Kganyago is asked to investigate whether banks which had business relationships with the Guptas complied with all the relevant provisions of the Financial Intelligence Act.

May 4

Sfiso Buthelezi delivers his first speech as an ANC MP, and is accused by the EFF of being a Gupta proxy.

May 6

The Guptas say the banks are being controlled by the Ruperts.

May 15

The Hawks want Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to be prosecuted for “espionage” in a case related to the activities of the South African Revenue Service “rogue unit” established while he was the tax agency’s commissioner. Five months after his appointment, Gordhan and President Jacob Zuma are in a covert battle. It later emerges that the Guptas had known about the imminent arrest a week before reports.

May 31

Only one person accepts Gwede Mantashe’s invitation to come forward with information about the Gupta family’s alleged meddling in state affairs.

June 3

The SACP’s Solly Mapaila says his party disagreed with the ANC’s decision to close down the state capture probe. “The Guptas’ corporate capture of the movement continues,” he says.

June 10

The Guptas are among a group attempting to lobby President Jacob Zuma to reject proposed amendments to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, a new law that will give banks the right to scrutinise the wealth of the politically connected.

June 12

The Reserve Bank demands that an Indian bank release documents related to bank accounts owned by the Gupta family. The request is part of an investigation into allegations that the Guptas may have been illegally channelling money out of the country.

June 14

The upfront price for coal that Eskom has paid Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources to supply the Arnot power station is higher than the export parity price at Richards Bay and among the best local prices for coal.

June 19

A letter written by Prasa boss Lucky Montana sets out accusations that the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma schemed to capture the parastatal and grab a R51bn tender for a bidder they represented.

August 25

Tegeta Exploration and Resources, the mining operation owned by the Gupta family, threatens to interdict the Treasury should it release a report into its investigation of Eskom’s coal contracts.

August 27

The wealthy Gupta family, which has been accused of holding undue political sway over President Jacob Zuma, said it planned to dispose of all the stakes it held in South African businesses before the end of the year.

August 31

The Gupta family, owners of Oakbay Investments, have been subjected to “cruel and harsh” treatment from the media in the country, contributing to their decision to sell their local businesses, Oakbay chief executive Nazeem Howa tells Bloomberg.

September 1

Despite Eskom’s statements that tests conducted by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) at the end of August had okayed the quality of Brakfontein’s coal, subsequent SABS tests found the opposite - Brakfontein’s coal failed to meet standards.

September 2

The cabinet resolves to ask President Jacob Zuma to establish a judicial inquiry into the banks and their actions against the Guptas as well as to review the legislation that governs the banking system.

October 11

Ajay Gupta accuses Public Protector Thuli Madonsela of not following proper processes during her investigation into allegations of state capture involving the politically connected family.

October 14

Cellphone evidence puts David “Des” van Rooyen in the home of the Guptas on the night before former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene was sacked and he was given the job, according to a report.

October 23

A whistle-blower’s affidavit to former public protector Thuli Madonsela lays bare how Trillian chief executive Eric Wood briefed some of the company’s top executives about Nene’s axing during a meeting at its Melrose Arch offices in October 2015.

October 26

Trillian chairperson Tokyo Sexwale says he has launched an “independent investigation” to “test the veracity of allegations” that people within Trillian Capital Partners knew of the axing of former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene two months before it happened.

November 2

Jonas’s claims about the Gupta Treasury job were backed up by phone records, it emerges. The Optimum mine purchase was “highly suspicious”. Eskom Brian Molefe was in constant contact with Ajay Gupta.

November 2

Embattled President Jacob Zuma receives the news that he will face a judicial inquiry into his relationship with the Gupta family.

November 6

A former Gupta driver spills the beans on several visits by cabinet ministers, senior government officials and a top parastatal chief executive to the family’s Saxonwold home.

November 16

Mark Pamensky, the Eskom director most directly linked to the Gupta family, resigns from the board.


Just two days after David “Des” van Rooyen’s disastrous appointment as finance minister in December 2015, his team leaked a confidential government document to close Gupta associates, it emerges.

December 13

Gauteng Hawks boss Major-General Prince Mokotedi alleges that Robert McBride former Hawk Shadrack Sibiya and private investigator Paul O’Sullivan conspired to murder him and Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Mthandazo Berning Ntlemeza. He further claims that they planned to use information gathered on Duduzane Zuma “to mobilise the community to revolt and pressure the president to quit office”.

December 13

Nedbank chief executive Mike Brown reveals that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi was part of the inter-ministerial committee delegation he met with to discuss the closure of Gupta bank accounts.


January 16

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says she is afraid that the country is being run by the Guptas.

January 17

Vardospan, a joint venture between Cinq Holdings, a company controlled by Salim Essa, a close business associate of the Gupta family, and Hamza Farooqui’s Pearl Capital, is proposing to acquire Luxembourg-based Pitcairns Finance’s interest in Habib Overseas Bank’s domestic operations. But the deal has to be passed by the finance minister to go through.

January 21

The Treasury accuses Oakbay of making “sensational and politically-driven claims and allegations” which it says are designed to deflect from the primary issues raised in the minister’s declaratory order.

January 25

Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza informs the Gupta family through their lawyer, Gert van der Merwe, that they are not under investigation - even though the Hawks have received reports of 72 suspicious transactions through their businesses’ bank accounts from the Financial Intelligence Centre in the past four years.

January 31

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan accuses the Gupta family and their associates of plotting against him and the Treasury.

February 3

The Bank of China closes the Gupta accounts just three weeks after they were opened because of perceived political risk.

February 9

In an affidavit, Ajay Gupta denies meeting or speaking to Mcebisi Jonas.

February 17

Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas files an affidavit saying he met Ajay Gupta and was offered a promotion and R600 million in exchange for bringing business deals to the Gupta family.

February 19

A report says that six days after the Gupta family infamously “fled” South Africa in 2016 on a late-night flight, a second Gupta plane tried to leave with a box believed to have been full of diamonds.

February 28

The Black Business Council confirms that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan accused the lobby group of trying to capture the Treasury on behalf of the Guptas.

June 1

The first of a torrent of stories is published by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism and the Daily Maverick news website, which had obtained a leak of e-mails and documents from a Gupta company server, thereafter to be referred to as GuptaLeaks.

The communications painted a picture of an intimate partnership between the Guptas, Duduzane Zuma, government ministers such as Mosebenzi Zwane, and parastatal executives such as Brian Molefe.


January 26

The Hawks raid newly-elected ANC secretary-general and Free State Premier Ace Magashule’s offices and those of the province’s Department of Agriculture in their probe into state capture. Part of the R220m meant for a dairy project at a Vrede farm in the Free State was used to pay for the family’s controversial lavish Sun City wedding in 2013.

February 14

The Hawks raid the Guptas’ Saxonwold compound in the early hours, as part of the ongoing probe into State Capture, and three arrests are made.