Just how life and times of the influential family was detailed and how the overran the republic. From the development of school computer labs, to naming rights for South African cricket stadiums, to ownership of banks, news companies, luxury game farms, coal and iron ore mines – and our ”beloved” President Jacob Zuma and his merry men and women – the author hones in on the family’s mysterious and meteoric rise to power and seizure of the presidency and the state.
Back in their home country, India, some say the family is not particularly powerful – that they were always wannabes staring in through the clubhouse window at a life that they couldn’t obtain there.
Atul Gupta sold shoes in a flea market; now he’s the seventh richest person in South Africa, worth more than R10-billion.
How did they do it? And who have they influenced to ensure that they have Zuma in their back pockets and at their beck and call? How did they manage to get their paws on a good portion of South Africa’s wealth?
This is what Myburgh carefully unwraps, zeroing in on the activities of the multi-billionaire Gupta brothers. He takes readers back to the beginning of South Africa’s fledgling democracy and to the start of the family’s journey into the hallways of the Union Buildings and ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters – all part of their mission to become South Africa’s powerhouse family.
The book is cleverly crafted as it carefully maps the equally cleverly crafted schemes that would end up ensuring the family’s rise to power.
The reader is encouraged to question whether some of our former presidents have been duped unwittingly by the brothers or have lain down with the devil, so to speak, with their eyes wide open – allowing the family to cement the foundations of the political partnerships that would give rise to the state capture crisis South Africa is now waking up to.
With his uncanny knack of uncovering and exposing the threads of evidence, Myburgh paints a picture so horrible it almost beggars belief. The scary thing is that when you come to the end of The Republic of Gupta: A Story of State Capture, it is unfortunately not the end of the story for South Africa.
With daily #GuptaSagas set to continue to tear at the threads of propriety of South Africa’s political leaders, Myburgh’s book should come as a warning to us all – think carefully before voting for people who are prepared to sell off a country and its people piecemeal for their own narrow benefits and without a twinge of conscience.