The hunt is on for the killers of JIC Mining Services chief executive JP Arora.
Johannesburg - A chief executive of a Gupta-owned mining company, which is facing liquidation, has allegedly been assassinated in a movie-style drive-by hit.

JIC Mining Services chief executive Jagannath Prasad “JP” Arora was apparently ambushed by gunmen while driving on New Road, Midrand, on Saturday night.

In a movie-like incident, the vehicle he was driving was sprayed with bullets which hit him claiming his life a short while after the brazen attack that happened after 11 pm, according to police.

Arora, who was alone in the car, had tried to save his life by driving to a nearby hospital with his bleeding body riddled by bullets.

However, he did not make it due to the extensive injuries and loss of a lot of blood.

“The man was shot and drove for some time,” Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele told The Star yesterday.

“He stopped when he became powerless. He was certified dead on the road. Police found him already dead (in his car).”

Arora’s assailants fled after their daring attack, leaving police to launch a manhunt.

As the motive for Arora’s killing was unknown, the investigation could also shed light on why he was gunned down and who wanted him dead.

“The suspects have not been arrested,” said Makhubele.

He added that police urged anyone with information to come forward.

JIC Mining Services is one of the Gupta-owned companies facing liquidation.

According to media reports, a decision was taken last month to liquidate the mining company.

Formally registered as Westdawn Investments, the Midrand-based JIC specialised in underground mining in the gold, platinum and chrome sectors.

It was paralysed by debt that climbed to almost R60million. The application to liquidate JIC was brought by Kal Tire Mining, which was owed R900000.

Roughly 800 workers were facing losing their jobs at JIC.

Arora was to return to his home country, India, after JIC’s liquidation.

He graduated from Chaudhary Charan Singh University and gained experience in sectors including banking, manufacturing and mining.

Seemingly one of the Guptas' close lieutenants, Arora also previously worked as a senior management position at Sahara Computers. This company has also shut down.

The Gupta brothers resigned from management positions in their local companies and reportedly fled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Their exit followed allegations over a number of years that they used their friendship with former president Jacob Zuma to win business contracts and influence ministerial appointments.

It was believed that the extradition treaty South Africa signed with the UAE in September would bring the Gupta brothers back to face criminal charges.

While the extent of the criminal case against them is unclear, one, Ajay, is being sought for a case already before the courts.


The Star