Guptas get Lesotho diplomatic passports

Johannesburg - Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has defended his decision to issue members of the Gupta family with diplomatic passports, rejecting opposition demands to withdraw them, The Star reported on Monday.

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 told The Star's Foreign Service.


"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 help Lesotho."

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."

Solid business people

He defended the Guptas as "solid business people" with a good track record in both business and assisting the ANC.

According to the report, the Guptas also wanted to invest in mining in Lesotho, and Thabane was facilitating this.

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.

Tony Allen 2014-08-25 08:53:10 AM
Now they are free to do as they please.
David Jones 2014-08-25 08:53:31 AM
Why is Cyril so quiet? We really need to look deeper.
Patsicles 2014-08-25 08:57:10 AM
Money is king,
CraigJoseph 2014-08-25 08:57:52 AM
I guess Lesotho has learned nothing from the guptagate scandal in SA then?!
John Lee 2014-08-25 08:58:20 AM
The Guptas now own at least two countries, South Africa and now Lesotho...
Brown Hair 2014-08-25 08:58:21 AM
"According to the report, the Guptas also wanted to invest in mining in Lesotho, and Thabane was facilitating this." Isn't there a conflict of interest? Are they marketing the country or are they investors. why would they market the mining potential of the country... Suspicious.
Lawrence Robert Atkinson 2014-08-25 08:58:30 AM
Zuna, don't let your mates down, get then SA diplomatic passports. Please. You can do it
Theo Konings 2014-08-25 08:59:02 AM
In Africa anything is for sale !!!
Theo Martinez 2014-08-25 09:00:28 AM
hahahaha. How much did the Guptas paid Thomas Thabane? Another African politician sold out. Now at least the Gupta maffia don can land officially at Waterkloof.
Bonnie Cape 2014-08-25 09:00:47 AM
Wonder what the price tag on Diplomatic Immunity is these days?