- Rajesh Sundaram claims that Atul Gupta once told him that the Gupta family had the South African government in their pocket
- Sundaram, a former editor of Gupta-owned ANN7, made the comments before the Zondo Commission
- He says that the Guptas used their relationship with Zuma to extract several (often unlawful) perks from the state
Former ANN7 editor, Rajesh Sundaram, has provided the Zondo Commission with extensive testimony regarding the relationship between the Gupta family and former president Jacob Zuma.
He detailed how Zuma helped the Guptas' bring employees to South Africa from Indian on visitors' visa, among other perks.
Sundaram says that Atul Gupta also defended himself whenever concerns were raised about the Guptas' controversial use of Waterkloof airforce base in 2013.
Sundaram also claims that Atul Gupta would often name-drop Jacob Zuma, saying things such as "we have deep bonds with his family."
Additionally, former ANN7 editor says that Atul once said, "We have enough influence in the government to clear our name", when faced with criticism regarding some of his shady business dealings.
Indeed, Sundaram says that Atul once told him explicitly that the Gupta family had the South African government in their pocket, according to Daily Maverick.
Through their relationship to Zuma, the Gupta family received numerous favours from government, many of which went beyond the limits of the law.
For example, Sundaram claims that Zuma helped the Guptas purchase valuable archival footage from the SABC for a fraction of what the footage was worth.
Justice Raymond Zondo has called for an investigation to determine the going rate for such footage. This way, the Commission will be able to see the extent to which the Guptas benefited from the deal, Briefly.co.za has gathered.
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