Following leaked Gupta email detailing President Jacob Zuma’s plan for a second home in Dubai, it’s been confirmed that the wealthy bought an R330 million mansion in Dubai in 2016 which could be Zuma’s second home.
News circulating the media since the past few days follows details of Gupta’s leaked emails which depicts the family’s ties with the President in the louded state capture reports.
Though the presidency relentlessly dismissed the reports as an utter fabrication, investigative units amaBhungane and Daily Maverick have begun to release further details of the so- called Gupta leaked emails which form part of the 200,000 emails and other documents relating to state capture in South Africa.
Among the leaked documents is a detailed ties between the Guptas and agents who supposedly helped them in the purchase of the R330 million mansion in Dubai
The multi-million rand residence alleged to be Zuma’s second home in Dubai is a mansion with 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a double grand staircase, nine reception rooms and space for 11 cars. The so-called Zuma’s second home in Dubai is reportedly located in L35 in Emirates Hills.
Sunday times reported in 2016 that when the said R330 million mansion in Dubai was first listed in 2015 for 110 million dirhams (R448 million) it was widely referred to as one of the most expensive house in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the time. The recently released email went further to reveal that when the residence was bought, the family made plans to use R21 million for its renovation.
Emails between President Zuma’s son Duduzane and figures from a company owned by the controversial Gupta family – who reportedly wield considerable influence over Mr Zuma – include a letter to the Abu Dhabi royal family, our correspondent says.
“I am happy to inform you that my family has decided to make the UAE a second home,” the president is quoted as saying. “It will be a great honour for me and my family to gain your patronage during our proposed residency in the UAE.”
This opens up questions as to whether this is part of an exit strategy, with Mr Zuma’s party appearing to be turning against him, our correspondent adds.
Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has ignored the media reports pointing out his involvement in the state capture. He reiterated that he had no other home aside his mansion in Nkandla.
“I have my home in Nkandla and I have no intention of living anywhere else. When I retire I will go home to Nkandla. This is a pure fabrication,” Bongani Nqulunga, Mr Zuma’s spokesperson, said on the president’s behalf.
Despite his denial of the purchase of the R330 million mansion in Dubai, it is largely believed that the leaked documents will open President Jacob Zuma up to renewed scrutiny and may deepen the division in the ruling African National Congress.