#GuptaLeaks: Delhi Daredevils staff member contacted Guptas for SA visa assistance
Source: Daily Maverick and News24, 12/06/2017
The Gupta familys love for cricket is well known. Their company Sahara
had key sponsorships at a number of South Africas most loved cricket
grounds. More details of their relationships with cricket officials
will be revealed at a later stage.
But this particular incident is about more than cricket. It once again
asks serious questions about the influence the family has been able to
wield at a number of South Africas government institutions â€" and under
whose watch it happened.
This story is about a senior official with an Indian Premier League
(IPL) team who contacted Ajay Gupta directly when South Africa hosted
the now defunct Champions League T20 in 2012.
The tournament that shifted from India to South Africa took place in
May that year and the qualified teams knew months beforehand that they
would need to follow due process. Yet it appears a gentleman by the
name of Amrit Mathur using a private email with a Delhi Daredevils
signature saw no need for such protocol â€" having friends in high
The only Amrit Mathur linked to the Delhi team is the COO. On October
17 2012 seven days before the Delhi Daredevils were due to play the
Highveld Lions in the semi-finals of the tournament he sent an email
to Ajay saying: Need your help to get a visa quickly for SA for the
CLT 20. Can I get in touch with some official in the High Commission
in Delhi ? [sic]
Appreciate your help to expedite grant of visa
The next day Mathur also emailed Ronica Ragavan who at the time was
Oakbays financial director saying: "Appreciate your help to expedite
grant of visa.
He adds: I would ideally like to travel to South Africa night of
Saturday 20th October. Let me know the way forward specially if I have
to contact someone in Delhi after you have put in a word. [sic]
Chawla requested a few documents and within a couple of days Mathurs
visa was granted with a note that it was ready for collection from
security at embassy not VFS. VFS is the intermediary for visa
After his return from the tournament Mathur again emailed Ajay
thanking him for his assistance.
It is not clear from the email correspondence how the two know each
other. However the family did play a key role in bringing the IPL to
South Africa in 2009. It seems Mathur knew that the Guptas had friends
in high places.
These timelines paint a curious picture. The request was made just a
few weeks after Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma abandoned her post as minister
of home affairs to take up the African Union job. Naledi Pandor was
running the department at the time.
Scorpio contacted both Mathur and Gupta spokesperson Gary Nadioo to
request comment. Neither responded.