Employees of Oakbay Investments are asking South Africa’s four largest banks to resume dealing with company accused of engaging in state capture.
The workers say they will lose their jobs at the end of May if bank accounts of the company owned by the wealthy Indian Gupta family remain closed.
The staff, who say they number 7,500, insist in an open letter to South Africa’s four major banks that they’ve done nothing wrong.
They’re not wealthy or politically connected and they certainly have not engaged in state capture.
The letter follows appointment of a world-renowned public relations company Bell Pottinger by Oakbay chief executive Nazeem Howa who’s failed to secure a meeting with the banks.
They cut ties with Oakbay earlier this month in the political heat generated by mounting allegations that the Gupta family improperly tried to make appointments to the South African Cabinet.
The Guptas elevated Zuma’s son Duduzane to a directorship of Oakbay.
Duduzane’s resigned from that post. The Guptas have also quit as directors of Oakbay and left the country.
The staff say they don’t know if any of the allegations against the Gupta family or Oakbay’s management are true. They don’t care.
They simply want to provide for their families.
They say they’ve been told by Howa that if Oakbay’s bank accounts are not reopend, they cannot be paid and Oakbay cannot pay its bills.