A wedding in an influential Indian origin family in South Africa
got further mired in controversy after allegations of racism at
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) has levelled
allegations of racism against guests in the Gupta family wedding
at Palace of the Lost City five-star hotel in Sun City.
"COSATU is informed that the family does not want to be served by
the African staff members who are employed in the resort. They
demand that their services must be rendered by white personnel,
starting from the cleaning of their rooms, the cooking and the
drivers of the shuttles they use," the Independent Online quoted
the union as saying Thursday in a statement.
The wedding of Vega Gupta, daughter of Achla Gupta, the only
sister to the Gupta brothers - Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, who own the
New Age newspaper and Sahara computer - got hit by controversy
when a chartered aircraft carrying guests for the event was
allowed to land at the Waterkloof air force base near Pretoria.
In the latest development, COSATU has alleged that the Gupta
family is under police protection at the Sun City resort and all
their trips have police escorts using state vehicles.
"For us as COSATU, this is racism at its worst and this cannot be
allowed to continue to take place in a country where racism is a
crime," the union said.
It also demanded withdrawal of police protection for the family
and guests, saying that people on a private trip cannot be allowed
state security while in the country.
Gupta family spokesman Haranath Ghosh, however, dismissed the
allegations of racism.
"The guests at the wedding are cosmopolitan and made up of all
races," he was quoted as saying.
"Claims reported in the COSATU statement have not been brought to
the attention of the Gupta family," he said, adding that the
family is saddened by the negative reporting surrounding the
Meanwhile, the Mail and Guardian Online reported that four more
high ranking officials of the South African National Defence Force
(SANDF) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) were suspended
in connection with the aircraft landing at the air base.
Earlier, the country's chief of state protocol Bruce Koloane was
suspended even as an inquiry was ordered into the Indian chartered
aircraft's landing at the country's air base..
The aircraft - an A330-200 of Indian carrier Jet Airways - is now
parked at OR Tambo Internartional Airport near Johannesburg.