Johannesburg - The Gupta empire, believed to have been built with stolen South African tax money, is collapsing with at least eight Gupta-linked companies filing for business rescue, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has revealed.
The organisation said the affected companies include Optimum Coal Mine, Tegeta Exploration and Resources, Shiva Uranium and Confident Concept, according to records it found with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.
The CEO of Optimum Coal Mine confirmed to striking workers this week that the business was facing dire financial strain and was in desperate need of rescue. The mines form the core of the Gupta empire and are crucial to providing coal to keep two Eskom power stations running.
Gupta-owned Optimum Coal Terminal, Koornfontein Mines, Islandsite Investments One Hundred and Eighty and VR Laser Services also filed for business rescue with the CIPC, according to Outa.
Outa chief operation officer Ben Theron said Islandsite and Confident Concept own properties which include the Gupta’s Saxonwold compound and Mzwanele Manyi’s ANN7 TV and newspaper offices. Confident Concept owned the Porsche used by close Gupta associate and former president Jacob Zuma's son, Duduzane, he added .
More than 100 vehicles listed
The Gupta-owned vehicles came into the spotlight on Friday with Outa revealing more than 100 vehicles owned by them, including luxury models of Bentley and Maserati.
A Bentley Continental GT worth about R3 million, a Maserati Quattroporte worth R1.1 million and a Lamborghini Gallardo are some of the most expensive vehicles on the list. A source told Independent Media that Atul Gupta splurged on a red Maserati for his then 18-year-old son when he matriculated.
Outa also revealed vehicles registered to companies associated with the Guptas, including Sahara and TNA Media Head Office. The whereabouts of the vehicles are however unknown at this stage, as the Hawks continue with their investigations into the Gupta family dealings.
“Those involved must all go to jail," Theron said. "Not only are they stealing tax money, they are ruining people's lives.
"We sympathise with the hundreds of employees and their families who now face an uncertain future. Every effort should be made to keep the mines remain open to ensure job security for the miners and crucial coal supply to Eskom.”
Calls to the Gupta family lawyer, Ahmed Gani went unanswered on Sunday.
Vehicles that are registered to the Gupta's Saxonwold address:
Bentley Continental GT
BMW 1 Series
Mercedes-Benz S 65 AMG