Emails that were leaked over the weekend have shown how Tony Gupta was sent notes by molecular biologist Rajesh Naithani. According to Times LIVE, Naithani briefed Tony and informed him about meeting Dudu Myeni, the chairperson of SAA.
Naithani was first appointed to the boards of SAA and SA Express in 2014. He then requested to be placed on the Transnet board. Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown appointed him to the board of the airlines in 2015.
Sahara CEO Ashu Chawla was the middleman that Naithani used to contact Tony. In his email correspondence, he told the Gupta brother about Nico Bezuidenhout, the CEO of Mango airline, and the support he had garnered from the board.
Naithani has refused to comment, referring all queries to the department of public enterprises.
On Sunday, the Guptas released a statement denying email evidence they had exercised control over three Cabinet ministers and had apparently approved the appointment of Mosebenzi Zwane to head the mineral resources portfolio. It also emerged they had paid for a flight to Dubai for Des van Rooyen, chauffeured a Denel director and had been key in drafting letters to high-level United Arab Emirates officials to secure residency for President Jacob Zuma and his family.
Zuma has denied this, while ANCYL president Collen Maine has dismissed being coached by the Guptas to respond to media queries.