Cost of Gupta state capture rises to R57bn

Atul Gupta and his family are said to have pocketed R57bn from SA's pockets. File photo.
Atul Gupta and his family are said to have pocketed R57bn from SA's pockets. File photo.
Image: James Oatway

Shadow World Investigations researcher Paul Holden on Tuesday told the state capture inquiry the cost of state contracts channelled to Gupta-linked entities was an estimated R57bn.

The figure was an R8bn jump from Holden’s previous calculations when he testified at the same forum last month.

He said the figure had changed because transactions that had been left out of his previous report were now included. These included:

  • a payment by Transnet to Essa-controlled Regiments/Trillian, which pocketed R1bn;
  • Eskom payments to Gupta entities;
  • payments to The New Age newspaper by the department of water & sanitation; and
  • other small payments Holden had missed in his initial report presented at the inquiry. 

Of the R57bn, said Holden, R16.2bn was paid “directly or indirectly” to the Gupta enterprise, “all of which was drawn from SA state funds or kickbacks relating to state capture”. 

“One of the most disturbing features of following the Gupta enterprise has been discovering these incredibly elaborate onshore and offshore bridges. In total, looking at these bridges, we have identified 3,659 separate transactions moving from these onshore and offshore bridges into the Hong Kong/China laundering network.”

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