Two jewels in the Gupta tiara – Optimum Coal Mine and Shiva Uranium – were the subject of legal action again this week, the latest in an unbelievable saga of intrigue and lawfare that commenced in February when business rescue practitioners (BRPs) took control of the companies.
There have been close to 50 legal cases – more than one a week – involving the eight Gupta companies under business rescue. Most involved attempts to liquidate the companies, strip the assets and pocket 10% of the proceeds, likely to exceed R200 million had they succeeded. Other cases involved attempts to remove the BRPs and replace them with more agreeable agents that would no doubt expedite the asset stripping that would ensue. Every one of the cases was defeated.