Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance's shadow Minister of Finance, David Maynier, laid criminal charges against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Atul Gupta, Ajay Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, Ronica Ragavan and Kamal Vasram at the Cape Town police station on Monday.
The charges include racketeering, money laundering, assisting another to benefit from the proceeds of unlawful activities, and acquiring, possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act; and submitting false or untrue tax returns.
The charges follow reports last week that public funds were allegedly laundered through a complex web of front companies, and used to pay for Vega Gupta and Aakash Jahajgarhia’s wedding at Sun City in 2013. According to reports, public funds were laundered from a Free State dairy farm project via Dubai to pay for the extravagant wedding.
Zwane was Free State MEC for agriculture at the time.
Maynier said he had also written to the South African Revenue Service requesting an investigation into tax evasion relating to allegations that wedding expenses were irregularly deducted as business expenses by Linkway Trading, which is a South African-based company controlled by the Guptas, consequently evading paying tax on an amount of about R30 million in 2014.
"The fact that public funds, meant to assist the poor, were allegedly used to pay for President Jacob Zuma’s number one clients', the Guptas’, family wedding is grotesque and must be investigated without fear or favour by the SAPS," Maynier said.