Oakbay Investments has told employees at Gupta-owned broadcaster ANN7 that it may not be able to pay their salaries following the closing of bank accounts.
“The closure of our bank accounts has made it virtually impossible to continue to do business in South Africa,” chief executive officer Nazeem Howa said in the letter.
“We are doing everything in our power to ensure this does not happen. We find it totally unacceptable that you, our employees, and your families, could potentially have to suffer as a result of the political campaign against us.”
The letter was sent to News24 by an ANN7 staff member. It is believed the letter was sent to all staff working for companies under the Oakbay umbrella.
The letter followed an announcement by the Guptas and President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma that they were resigning from Oakbay Investments and Oakbay Resources and Energy.
In the letter to staff, Howa said the family had decided to step down from all executive and non-executive positions following a period of “sustained political attack” on the Guptas and their businesses.
“This follows the unexplained decisions by several of our banking partners and our auditors to cease working with us and the continued press coverage of false allegations,” he said.
Howa said Oakbay Investments have directly contacted the office of the president and ministers of finance and mineral resources to “express deep disappointment” over the decisions of their banking partners and to make it clear that livelihoods were at risk if they were unable to restore the banking relationships.
“We are confident that through the family’s decision to distance themselves from the business, banking relationships will soon be restored, salaries will be paid and business will continue as normal.”