JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – 4 March 2011: Ajay and Atul Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and Jagdish Parekh (standing) speak to the City Press from the New Age Newspaper’s offices in Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa on 4 March 2011. (Photo by Gallo Images/City Press/Muntu Vilakazi)
Islandsite Investments Pty Ltd a company owned by the Gupta family has been added to the R24.9M Nulane Investment feasibility study corruption case, the Investigating Directorate announced on Tuesday.
Investigating Directorate Spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said that Ronica Ragavan, a co-director in the company had failed to appear in the Bloemfontein Regional court as a representative of the business. Ragavan had cited medical reasons as her excuse for failing to arrive in court.
“A warrant for her arrest has been issued but stayed by the court,” Seboka said.
The other accused in the case are former Transnet Board member Iqbal Sharma, Nulane Investment employee Dinesh Patel, former Free State head of Department for Rural Development (FSDoRD), Peter Thabethe; former head of FSDoA, Limakatso Moorosi; and former FSDoA Chief Financial Officer, Seipati Dhlamini who are facing charges of fraud and money laundering. The former government officials have also been charged for allegedly contravening of the Public Finance Management Act. The group is charged together with two companies, Nulane Investment 204 (Pty) Ltd and Islandsite Investments Pty Ltd.
The case, which now sees the Gupta owned firm added as accused number seven, relates to procurement fraud involving R24.9 million, that was paid between November 2011 and April 2012 by the Free State Department of Agriculture (FSDoA) to Nulane Investment 204 (PTY) LTD, a company owned and controlled by Sharma.
“From there the funds were diverted to Islandsite Investments 180 (Pty) Ltd (Islandsite). The R24.9m was purportedly paid to Nulane to conduct a feasibility study for the Free State Province’s flagship Mohoma Mobung project, on the basis that Nulane had unique skills to perform the work,” Seboka said.
The matter has been dragging out in court for several months.