South Africa’s Oakbay Resources said on Tuesday it had appointed a new chief executive to replace a member of the Gupta family following allegations over political influence.
Oakbay Resources, owned by the Gupta’s holding company Oakbay Investments, named Jacques Roux as CEO, replacing Varun Gupta who has been at the helm since September 2015.
Roux was previously head of executive accountability for Oakbay Group’s coal mining operations in Mpumalanga province and prior to that was the chief executive of the Gupta-owned JIC Mining Services, Oakbay said in a statement.
Atul Gupta and Varun Gupta resigned in April as respective chairman and chief executive of Oakbay Resources in response to what they said was a “sustained political attack”.
The two left their posts amid allegations from opposition parties claiming that the Gupta family had used their ties with President Jacob Zuma to exert undue influence on government activities and appointments.
Zuma has acknowledged the Guptas are his friends, but denies anything improper. The Guptas, whose wide range of business interests include media and mining, have denied the allegations and say they are pawns in a plot to oust Zuma.
Several South African companies, including all four major banks, have cut links with companies associated with the Guptas, a family of Indian-born businessmen.
President Zuma’s son Duduzane also resigned as director of the main subsidiary of Oakbay Resources, Shiva Uranium, and said he would resign from all Gupta-linked companies.
(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by James Macharia)