Tue Sep 26 11:11:39 SAST 2017

Gupta's go large: multi-million rand affair on 4 day wedding

2013-04-14 15:44:35.0 | AMOS MANANYETSO |

SOUTH Africa, brace yourself for a wedding of royal proportions.

The controversial Gupta family, owners of The New Age newspaper and Sahara Computers, among other business interests, is splashing millions on a four-day wedding for one of their daughters, Vega.

Vega (23) is Achla's daughter, the only sister to the three powerful Gupta brothers. Her father is Anil Kumar.

The three Gupta brothers are Ajay, Atul and Rajesh.

According to a website specially set up for the wedding, she will be tying the knot to 24-year-old Aakash Jahajgarhia at Sun City on May 2.

The Guptas, who are also known to have close ties with President Jacob Zuma, have booked the entire five-star Palace of the Lost City hotel in the resort complex for four nights. Suites at the hotel cost between R4600 to R 44000 a night.

Sun International insiders confirmed that the Valley of the Waves, a man-made beach complete with white sand and waves, will not be open to the public between May 1 and 4 "due to a private function".

The employee, who did not want to be named said: "They are spending millions. The Valley makes at least R480000 per day. So they will pay that for four days to have its exclusive use."

The employee said two floors of one of the lesser expensive hotels in the complex has also been paid for to accommodate hundreds of guests and security personnel.

Another employee, based within the hotel and casino complex, said the family gave strict instructions that details of the lavish wedding be kept secret, but confirmed that some cabinet ministers will be attending.

Two police officers also based in the area have confirmed that they have been briefed about "a big event" and that more instructions will be given closer to the date.

Another policeman, who is attached to the VIP protection unit and is a protector of a senior cabinet minister, confirmed that his principal will be attending the wedding.

He said: "We have already been briefed. We will be going to North West after the 20th (of April) to do reconnaissance because it is going to be a big event."

Both the bride and groom were born in India into Hindu families. The ceremony is expected to embrace Hindu customs.

Vega is based in South Africa and holds an honours degree in financial management from the University of Johannesburg, while her husband-to-be was educated in India and London.

In her message on the site, she says: "Time goes by very fast, especially for a girl. I still remember when I was in elementary school ... then graduation and post-graduation and here I am, old enough to even marry after completing everything; for a new beginning.

"I consider myself very lucky that I got the chance to learn new things in life and got great opportunities that people fail to get. My life has been perfect, just like living a beautiful dream, surrounded by people who loved me immensely."

She lists dancing, reading and swimming as her hobbies, while Jahajgarhia said he liked music, movies and travelling.

She lists some of her family businesses as Goyal Cal Carbonates Ltd Saharanpur, a chemical manufacturing firm in India, LCR Investment and Shiva Uranium.

Vega writes on her profile that her life took a dramatic turn when she moved to South Africa.

"My maternal family lived there, my nani (grandmother), my three mamas (uncles) and mamis (aunties), my six brothers and sister."

She lives with her extended family in the Guptas' R52m Saxonwold compound in Joburg.

The website describes her mother as a housewife.

Already, the website is awash with messages from well wishers, including their friends and former classmates from India.

Her brother, Varun Gupta, wrote: "My dearest sister, I am very happy that you are going to the people who want you in their life, the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what. God Bless you."

Saurabh Aggarwal from India wrote: "Congratulations! Vega, both of you will make a perfect couple. God Bless you."

Sashank Singhala, writing from SA, said: "Wishing you a house full of sunshine, hearts full of cheer and love that grows deeper every day of the year. Take care and congratulations."

Ceremonies fit for royalty

ACCORDING to invites on the groom's website, there are going to be six ceremonies of the wedding.

These will take place in the afternoons and evenings with the main one, the Royal Gala, hosted at the world acclaimed Super Bowl. Each ceremony will have its own dress code.

The Royal Procession promises to be a big party with Mosaic "musical extravaganza".

Zuma's spousal boost

THE M&G reported that President Zuma's son Duduzane and Gupta brother Rajesh (Tony) share several business interests. The two are directors in Mabengela Investments and are directors and shareholders in Afripalm Horizons. Six months after his father was elected ANC president in 2007, Duduzane was asked to join the board of Sahara Computers.

DA also benefits from Guptas

THE ANC and President Jacob Zuma are not the only ones who have had to explain their connection with the family.

DA leader Helen Zille also had links to the family through a R400000 donation her party received ahead of the 2009 elections. Part of this was from Stefan Nel, a Sahara Computers director.

  • mananyetsoa@sundayworld.co.za; or Twitter @Mezosti

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