Is Guptas’ R331m Dubai mansion Zuma’s ‘second home’?

It’s now emerged that the Guptas bought a R331 million mansion in Dubai two years ago.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - It’s now emerged that the Guptas bought a R331 million mansion in Dubai two years ago, which is apparently the same property that the president called his “second home” in a letter outlining Jacob Zuma’s plans to relocate to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In series of explosive leaked emails obtained by amaBhungane and the Daily Maverick, more information has emerged around the extent of the Gupta family’s dealings with state-owned enterprises.

It shows how the family has been pocketing billions of rands through dubious transactions.

The documents also point to former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba's apparent hand in fast tracking certain documents.

The amaBhungane and Daily Maverick exposé shows that the same 10-bedroom mansion in Dubai bought by the Guptas in 2015 is the same property that the president allegedly referred to in a “relocation letter” sent to officials in the UAE.

While Zuma denies planning to move, the Gupta leaks show that by the time the letter was drafted for the president his son Duduzane had already purchased an R18 million apartment in Dubai.

It’s also been revealed that despite spending over R300 million on the property, which has 13 bathrooms, nine reception rooms and underground parking for 11 cars, the Guptas weren’t satisfied and brought in an interior designer who proposed renovations to the tune of R21.7 million.

This included a massive free-standing safe surrounded by busts for displaying expensive jewellery installed inside a walk-in closet.

At the time these renovations were being discussed, the Guptas were hosting a number of executives from Eskom, Transnet and Denel.

The discovery of the mansion shows that the Guptas and their associates had not only amassed a fortune but also constructed elaborate schemes to channel money out of South Africa.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)