South Africa’s investigation into the influential Gupta family has cut a wide swath through the country.The family, which fled South Africa earlier this year, stands accused of high-level corruption going up all the way to the office of former President Jacob Zuma.
But their business activities in poor communities have also left deep wounds, residents say. In the dusty town of Klerksdorp, where mining is the main activity, locals say the Gupta-owned Shiva Uranium Mine underpaid and mistreated its some 700 workers.
Mine worker Abram Serapelo, 30, said he hasn’t been paid on time in months, since the Guptas’ India-based bank pulled out of South Africa in February. “We don’t know if we are still working, or we still have the job, or if we are safe as workers,” he told VOA.
Khaya Ngaleka, the regional chairman of the National Union of Mineworkers, said he has heard worrying reports of ill-treatment and poor safety practices at Shiva Mine — an indication that even the family’s above-board enterprises cut corners.
“It’s bad conditions, they’re underpaid, they’re not actually having what other employees in other companies who are doing the very same job are having,” he said.
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