South Africa Court Dismisses Protest March Over Gupta Company

Updated on
  • Group says court dismisses case on grounds it is not urgent
  • Gupta family in business with President Jacob Zuma’s son

An environmental lobby group said the South African High Court dismissed its request to hold a protest against Oakbay Resources & Energy Pty Ltd., the company controlled by the Gupta family, at the owners’ home in Johannesburg.

The organization, known as 350.org, wanted to march to the family’s home because Oakbay has been involved in the coal industry, the group said in court papers. The case heard on Friday was filed after a previous order allowing the demonstration at the home on Saturday was rescinded.

“The judge dismissed the case because it wasn’t an urgent case,” Amir Bagheri, an organizer for the group, said by phone. While the group can still gather near the Guptas’ home, it will suspend its march to their house “for now,” he said.

The Guptas and South African President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, control a company that bought coal assets this year, including the loss-making Optimum mine. The deal has been questioned by Gwede Mantashe, a senior ruling-party official, and banks including FirstRand Ltd. and Barclays Africa Group Ltd. have closed accounts related to the companies.

— With assistance by Paul Burkhardt

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