defends Gupta diplomatic passports
25 August 2014
The Prime Minister of Lesotho Thomas Thabane has
defended his decision to issue members of the Gupta
family with diplomatic passports and rejected
opposition demands to withdraw them.
He said he appointed the Gupta family to market
Lesotho in countries where they have “influence”,
and to secure investments for the country.
“These people (the Guptas) are good friends of the
ANC and we have good relations with the ANC,” he
“I was introduced to them by ANC president [Jacob
Zuma] and other ANC officials… I then appointed them
to help scout for investment in my country. They
have influence in a number of countries that can
They said they would find investors for Lesotho.
Insinuations that he favoured the Guptas in exchange
for personal returns were wrong and unacceptable.
“…Check with all the banks the world over… I have
not received money from them…
“I am merely using my office to get developments
going for my country.”
He defended the Guptas as “solid business-people”
with a good track record in both business and
assisting South Africa’s ruling African National
According to the report, the Guptas also wanted to
invest in mining in Lesotho, and Thabane was
The Guptas caused an uproar when a plane, chartered
by the family and carrying 270 guests to a wedding
at Sun City, landed at Waterkloof Air Force Base in
April last year..
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