A crumbling empire

With Zuma’s power seemingly weakened after the country’s highest court ruled against him over another scandal, the Gupta empire seems to be crumbling. Major banks are now refusing to do business with them and their auditors, KPMG, have dumped them in a move one analyst described as a “coordinated… act of corporate social responsibility.”

Last week, members of the Gupta family and Zuma’s son resigned as executive and non-executive members of Oakbay Investments.
“We find it 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 and the Gupta family,” they said in a statement. The family has reportedly fled to Dubai and plan to move their business to India and China. Their representatives deny this.

Getting rid of the Guptas is not expected to solve South Africa’s corruption woes. South Africans believe the family was able to capitalize on a system with little regulation of the line between business and politics. They did so brazenly because accountability is rare in the system. Unless those boundaries are clarified and respected, another family is likely to take the Guptas’ place in South Africa’s political lexicon.

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