The perceived sins of the Gupta family have caught up with it. Now it seems South Africans are trying to push the immigrant family out of South Africa.
First, banks closed the accounts of the Gupta family’s investment vehicle Oakbay Investments, forcing the Guptas to resign as leaders of the company, with the hope that the ‘attacks’ on the company would stop. However, rather than let the company be, fresh attacks seemed to have been launched.
One of South Africa’s leading print media production companies Independent Media (pty) on Saturday decided not to run Oakbay adverts in its newspapers, Pretoria News, Daily News and the Argus, to the disgust of the company.
According to Oakbay, the adverts were intended as a direct plea to ABSA, Nedbank, Standard Bank and FNB to save 7,500 Oakbay jobs by restoring banking services to Oakbay. Workers of the company had last month written an open letter to the heads of the banks, pleading that the accounts be reopened. Nothing is yet to be done.
“This was not a branding campaign,” the company said in a statement. “Oakbay’s intended placing of the adverts in the South African media was to raise awareness of the issue and an attempt to save the jobs of its 7,500 employees and the interests and security of their families who depend on them,” it said.
Oakbay says the decision of Independent Media further showed evidence of a sustained attack on the family and its business interests. The company added that it was totally unacceptable that “several thousand direct employees and tens of thousands of their dependents will have to suffer as a result of the campaign against Oakbay. ”
The firm reminded Independent Media that editorial independence is internationally recognised as a hallmark of good quality journalism.
“Independent Media by name maybe, but clearly not in its nature, as Independent Media seem to feel they are the exception to the internationally recognised and unwritten rule of editorial independence,” the statement read.
The Gupta family has been under series of pressure in South Africa due to the family’s closeness to President Jacob Zuma. Senior African National Congress officials said that the Guptas, who are Zuma’s friends, offered them cabinet posts in exchange for business concessions.
The Gupta family has denied any wrongdoing.