Reading about the Gupta family and state capture feels a little like following Alice in her adventures in Wonderland. Who would have believed that SA could fall down a rabbit hole filled with absurdities that go against the core democratic values that shaped the country? In his classic, Lewis Caroll writes: "I was thinking," Alice said very politely, "which is the best way out of this wood: it’s getting so dark. Would you tell me, please? But the little men only looked at each other and grinned." The Republic of Gupta reminds you of maniacal little men who pull you deeper into the dark instead of showing you the way out. And when you reach the end, you feel lost in a tale that author Pieter-Louis Myburgh rightly points out is not fully complete. It’s a dark tale still unravelling, but the book pieces together the story so far. It traces how brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh (also known as Tony) Gupta came to SA from Saharanpur in India in 1993. They had somewhat humble beginnings but h...

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