Countdown starts on Guptas rezoning appeal

A screenshot from the eNCA report on the latest allegations involving the Gupta family.

A screenshot from the eNCA report on the latest allegations involving the Gupta family.

The Gupta family has less than eight weeks to appeal or request an extension following a town planning committee’s decision to turn down their rezoning application related to their Saxonwold property, the City of Johannesburg said yesterday.

“From the date of being formally notified, they have 28 days to appeal and they can apply for a further 28-day extension… in total, they can appeal a decision within 56 days,” spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane said.

He said the Gupta family was notified about the outcome of their application on October 14, which means the countdown for their response has begun.

Family spokesman Gary Naidoo said: “We have only just received a one paragraph notification from the Joburg Metro planning section. We will comment once we have a full and detailed explanation from the planning committee.”

Meanwhile, Saxonwold and Parkwood Residents Association chairman, Tessa Turvey, said the letter, which has also been seen by The Citizen and is dated October 14, only informed residents in one paragraph of the declined application.

“It gives no reasons for the decision or what the next step would be,” she said.

The decision, where it is anticipated the family would have to demolish balconies and roof overhangs, had already been made earlier in the month. However, Modingoane had refused to disclose the verdict saying the family needed to be alerted first and the matter was “a legal process”.

City Press newspaper had reported that the Gupta family applied to the city to merge three of their adjacent houses on Saxonwold Drive where brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh live. This was to enable the palatial main residence not to contravene rules about its permitted size.

Some other contraventions cited by the newspaper were the number of kitchens, and that it was too high for the area it is located in.

The Gupta family are known to be friends of President Jacob Zuma. They recently came under fire for landing a chartered jet at Waterkloof Air Force Base in

Pretoria without proper authorisation.

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