TIME South Africa

The Brothers Embroiled in a Scandal Around President Zuma Have Left South Africa

Gupta Brothers and Duduzane Zuma speak out
Gallo Images/Getty Images Indian businessmen Ajay Gupta, right, and younger brother Atul Gupta in Johannesburg on March 2, 2011

Ajay and Atul boarded a private jet in Johannesburg Thursday

Two of South Africa’s three Gupta brothers, members of a wealthy family accused of improper influence over President Jacob Zuma and offering to arrange a Cabinet position, have left the country for Dubai.

Ajay and Atul boarded a private jet in Johannesburg on Thursday evening, Agence France-Presse reported, just before they resigned from their business empire, which has interests in mining, media, technology and engineering. The brothers’ business associate, Duduzane Zuma, son of President Zuma, also stepped down, according to newspaper City Press.

“Following a period of sustained political attack on the Gupta family and our businesses,” read a Friday statement from the family, cited by Agence France-Presse, “we have come to the conclusion that it is time for the Gupta family to step down from all executive and non-executive positions.”

Pressure mounted on the scandal-hit family of Indian immigrants in March, when, according to the BBC, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said the Guptas had once offered to promote him to Finance Minister. The Guptas have denied the allegation.

The family has also been accused of exerting excessive influence over President Zuma, who has himself faced calls to step down. Opposition members launched a failed vote to impeach Zuma on April 5, just five days after South Africa’s top court ruled he violated the constitution in a case concerning state funds that were allegedly used to upgrade his home.

[AFP]

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