For all the travails and financial involvement, the Gupta family pulled out all the stops to stage a lavish wedding for their business partner and President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, with their company, Sahara, footing so much bill.
More than R500000 for a 3m-long floating stage in the pool at Zimbali, among other things.
Duduzane married Shanice Stork in Durban in May 2015 at a wedding ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel, Zimbali.
This was followed by a traditional ceremony at his father’s homestead in Nkandla.
The leaked e-mails give an insight into the close relationship between the Guptas and the president’s son which has long been a subject of controversy.
The plans for the wedding were handled at the top, with the Guptas appointing Oakbay acting CEO Ronica Ragavan as the “technical point of contact with suppliers and service providers”.
Gupta attorneys were roped in to deal with contracts and payments, while Ragavan handled drawing up plans for the fancy function, “venue liaison and marquee dimensions and drawings etc”.
Documents show that Gupta family companies paid more than R500000 for a stage and lighting for the event.
A special stage had to be erected with an aisle on the water for the bridal party to walk along.
It had a canopy draped in flowers in the middle.
They also were billed about R700000 for the renting of a full glass marquee for the event.
E-mails show that the Fairmont Zimbali charged the Guptas about R3000 per person for guests to stay overnight at the hotel.
Sahara CEO Ashu Chawla and Ragavan dealt with wedding favours options, too.
There was a choice of three tea gift options to give to guests.
The prices for the wedding favours ranged from R225 per gift to R900.
Attempts to get comment from Duduzane and the Guptas were unsuccessful yesterday.
President Zuma defended Duduzane’s relationship with the Guptas last year, telling an ANC meeting in Eastern Cape that his “desperate” son had struggled to secure a job as an intern because of his association with the then-deputy president of the ANC.
At the time it was reported that Zuma said the Guptas rescued Duduzane and hired him.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela was investigating an allegation that the Guptas had made Duduzane a billionaire before she left office last year.