#GuptaLeaks: Imagining what went down in those Sun City emails

Haji Mohamed Dawjee visualises how the email exchange between the Guptas and Sun City may have played out.

The Palace of the Lost City

Journalists of various newsrooms in South Africa have joined forces to decipher a multitude of emails from the inboxes of the Gupta brothers. This week, an email thread between the notorious family and Sun City management revealed a back and forth bargaining tussle for payment of a wedding at the famous holiday resort.

The “million dollar” marriage took place over four days in 2013. It started with Waterkloof Airbase privileges and ended with warm roti stands for guests in all event rooms, missing cutlery and a squabble for monies owed that took place over 19 months via correspondence.

Thanks to the hard work of journalists turned hackers, I got my paws on some of the emails between team Gupta and the management at Sun City.

FROM: Richard Hawkins (CEO, Sun City)

Dear Mr Chawla

We have prepared your bill. Apologies for sending it so late, my team had trouble finding the Lost City, and once there they had to wait for additional support to help count the cutlery and equipment. As you know, the Palace is a big place.

After inspection, they discovered that several cake forks were missing as well as a few gold-plated bain-maries. At our own expense, we hired a team of scuba divers to trawl the bottom of the Roman pool in the hopes of finding said items, but unfortunately they came up empty handed.

Anyway, please find attached the bill, to be settled immediately.

Regards, Richard

FROM: Ashu Chawla (CEO, Sahara)

Dear Mr Hawkins

Thank you for the bill. May I request a meeting as soon as possible? I would like to discuss a small discount.

By the way, those rotis were amazing. Please send me the recipe.

One more thing, can I please use that rumble bridge thing as a landing strip, so that I can get to you quickly? You know how we like to break the rules.

Thanking you, Ashu

FROM: Richard Hawkins (CEO Sun City)

Dear Ashu

Before I address the matter at hand, I have to let you know: One of the divers mentioned he spotted a unicorn and pot of gold at the bottom of the pool. I have placed them in the lost and found box. You can fetch them when you come in for the meeting.

Please fly in later today and don’t land on the bridge.

P.S. I think you may have forgotten that you flew the rotis in from Mumbai. I do not have the recipe. But if you get your hands on it, please send it this way. I enjoyed them as well.

See you soon, Richard

From: Ashu Chawla (CEO Sahara)

Dear Richard

Thank you for meeting with me. As promised, I have raised the issue of the missing items with Atul. He has since admitted that he stole the bain-maries because he wanted to use them for his dinner party next week. He wanted to serve some hot food.

You should take this as a compliment. The only other person he steals from so openly is the president. It is an honour to be in that company.

Anyway, I have cc’ed him so you can take this up with him personally. Once this matter is resolved, we can discuss the bill further. I have questions about the amount you allocated for damages to the Valley of the Waves.

Can’t wait to hear from you.

P.S. Roti recipe attached

From: Atul Gupta (CEO TNA Media and the President’s Hand)

Ashu man!

Why are you embarrassing me? Stop it now. Please man.

From: Ashu Chawla (CEO Sahara)

Atul bhaai (brother), I’m only making jokes.

You know these goras (whites) are afraid of you. They won’t say nothing.

Relax boss!

FROM: Richard Hawkins (CEO Sun City)


Deal with Atul. This is not my problem. And I am not willing to discuss the amount for the Valley of the Waves. The walls are chipped and plaster is not South African taxpayers' money. You can’t just take it! Please also return the consecutive waves you took with you. Sarah McKenzie, my PA, said she saw you pack them on your way out! Visitors are unhappy about the fact that they cannot catch enough waves.

Sarah also asked if you could please hook her up with a new computer?


Yours in “running out of patience”, Richard

From: Ashu Chawla (CEO Sahara)

Richard, can I call you Dick for short?

Consider the computer organized. You will get it shortly. As for the waves, forget about it. I have had them installed in Zuma’s firepool.

I have cc’ed the President; you can take it up with him personally. Once you have resolved the matter, I assure you that we will settle the bill promptly.

Hang in there Dick. We’re almost done.


From: President Jacob Zuma (Acting like a president since 2009)


Thank you for my waves. I’m chilling. Please tell Atul to call me? I lost the number for his burner phone and I want to ask him if he watched the latest episode of Skeem Saam. It’s urgent.

Umshini-Wami bra! *drops mic

FROM: Richard Hawkins (CEO Sun City)

Sarah says thanks for the computer. Look, I can’t get hold of the president. His people keep telling me that he is too busy binge watching South African TV shows.

It’s been 19 months, 7.25 days, 6 hours and 23 minutes since I first sent you the bill.

This has to stop. Let me keep the unicorn and we will never speak of this again?

Don’t call me Dick.


From: Ashu Chawla (CEO Sahara)

You got yourself a deal yaar (friend).

Blessings and salutations,


From: Atul Gupta (CEO TNA Media and the President’s Hand)

Ashu bhaai (brother) everything sorted now with Sun City?

Also, did you get that meme of Zuma I sent you the other day? Why you don’t laugh at my jokes anymore?

From: Ashu Chawla (CEO Sahara)

Sorted boss.

Maaf (sorry) I didn’t respond to the meme email. It was very funny. “Nine hundred and thirty nine million three thousand and sixty thousand”, hahahaha. I told you your friend can’t count. He makes it so easy.

Anyway, best not to mention it. He is sensitive about stuff like that. See you tonight at his Skeem Saam screening. Bring a big bag so we can take more things from him.

Namaste homiewala (an important person in the field of homies)