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Guptas fight back over South Africa graft allegations

AFP  |  Johannesburg 

The family at the centre of a graft probe into South African President Jacob Zuma today called allegations "nonsense" that nearly 450 million euros in their bank transactions were suspicious.

The Guptas were responding to papers filed last week by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan which claimed firms linked to the family had made suspect movements worth 6.8 billion rand (USD 490 million).

Their business empire, led by brothers, Atul, and Rajesh, includes a string of companies, ranging from mining to media.

A total of 72 transactions in companies owned by the family were flagged over four years.

"It is undiluted nonsense and appears to be little more than the usual political games," the Gupta family, who are close to the president, said in a statement.

The family described Gordhan's affidavit as "fundamentally flawed" and said they were looking forward to clearing their names.

The minister filed the records as part of an ongoing battle over whether he has the power to intervene in a financial dispute involving the family.

Earlier this year several banks and audit firms in cut ties with Gupta-owned firms.

The family has been lobbying the government to have the banks' decision declared unlawful.

Zuma and Gordhan have clashed in recent months, and Gordhan is due in court next month on separate corruption charges.

The president on Thursday blocked the release of the probe into his relationship with the Guptas, who are accused of having undue influence over government and to have chosen some ministers.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 19 2016. 00:07 IST