OUTA, a civil action group, last month laid fraud charges against Duduzane and the three Gupta brothers — Atul, Ajay and Rajesh. “Duduzane provides access to his father (and) amassed a vast fortune,” OUTA alleged.
“It is difficult to imagine an innocent explanation for Duduzane Zuma’s meteoric rise.”
A report by South Africa’s anti-graft ombudsman last year detailed a meeting when Duduzane was present in which Ajay Gupta is alleged to have offered the deputy finance minister a $45 million bribe.
The meeting was at the Guptas’ headquarters in Saxonwold, an upmarket district of Johannesburg.
The high-security address has been the centre of their sprawling business spanning computers, mining, media, technology and engineering.
But the Guptas say they are now selling up as wary banks have shut down their accounts amid the mounting allegations.
Duduzane is following suit, saying in a public letter published on Monday that he was selling his shares in Gupta companies “to be able to focus my time on clearing my name”.
In the letter, he launched a vicious attack on former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who served under President Zuma and was seen as a bulwark against corruption. “How do you sleep at night?” Duduzane asked Gordhan, accusing him of trying to “destroy” him and the Guptas.
A slew of leaked emails in recent months has piled further pressure on Duduzane — and his father.
They reveal that the Guptas allegedly paid for Duduzane’s foreign holidays, his 2015 wedding and helped him to buy property.
According to the emails, when Duduzane crashed his Porsche in 2014, the first person he called was Rajesh Gupta. A woman in another vehicle was killed in the accident.
President Zuma faces a tough fight even after leaving office, with the looming threat of almost 800 corruption charges against him being reinstated, over a multi-billion dollar arms deal in the 1990s.
Duduzane, like his father, may spend many years defending his reputation.