President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, allegedly brokered a meeting between his father and a private Russian investment company two years ago, according to a cache of leaked emails detailing correspondence between the Guptas and their associates.
Business Day reported on Friday that the 35-year-old, who owns shares in several Gupta-owned companies, was contacted by Russian investment company Sistema Joint Stock Financial Corporation on December 23, 2014, requesting help in arranging a meeting between Zuma and the company’s chairperson, Vladimir Evtushenkov, in Davos‚ Switzerland.
The emails reportedly stated that Evtushenkov would be in Davos on January 21 and 22, at the same time as the annual World Economic Forum meeting, which Zuma was expected to attend at the time.
Duduzane apparently responded to the request on January 1, informing the company’s managing director, Evgeniy Chuikov, that he would “follow up with the matter in discussion”, as he was out of the country in India at the time.
Chuikov on January 27, 2015, allegedly sent Duduzane another email thanking him for setting up the meeting between Zuma and Evtushenkov, saying: “We met in Davos, and had a very productive and warm catch up.”
Though Zuma is not prohibited from meeting companies and businesses, a conflict of interest could exist if Duduzane benefits from the meetings, according to the report. It has also raised questions about the influence Duduzane wields over his father’s decision-making.
It remains unclear whether Sistema had any investment interests in South Africa, the report stated.