Atul Gupta admits family has no experience in railway industry

An investigation by amaBhungane and the 'Daily Maverick' in June claimed the Gupta family entered kickback agreements totalling R5.3 billion with China South Rail.

FILE: Controversial businessman Atul Gupta of the Gupta family. Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Atul Gupta has admitted the family has zero experience in the railway industry and denies any contract with a Chinese manufacturer that became Transnet’s preferred locomotive supplier.

An investigation by amaBhungane and the Daily Maverick in June claimed the Gupta family entered kickback agreements totalling R5.3 billion with China South Rail.

However, in the latest BBC Radio 4 interview, Atul Gupta says the family is not in the railway industry.

Asked how much his family knows about the railway industry, Gupta said: "Not at all. Ask these people who are spreading those rumours. How should I answer what I don’t know?"

Gupta says he’s a proud South African and never wants to leave the country and blames monopoly capital for what he calls the smearing of his family name.

He also denies ever meeting former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and offering him a R600 million bribe.

Gupta says his family is in South Africa for good and it’s monopoly capital that is trying to discredit the family through fake news.

“I want to stay in South Africa because I love this country. I’m proudly South African and I respect all my fellow South Africans. I’m an alive example of financial liberation and I’m playing my part.”

He also says the family’s success in the country has been limited by monopoly capital due to the colour of their skin, which he was challenged by the interviewer reminding Gupta of the various successes the family has achieved.

Gupta also denies the family having any contracts with the government.


Civil rights group Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has laid charges of treason, racketeering, extortion and fraud against the Gupta brothers and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane.

The organisation says that the Guptas and Zuma are at the heart of state capture and the charges laid at the Randburg Police Station on Thursday afternoon are aimed at combatting organised crime.

Outa’s Ben Theron says: “The Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma are at the centre of corruption as we’ve come to know it within the last few month.

“And it does not help going after the people that have been corrupted, we need to go after the Corruptor as well.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)