The embattled Gupta family contemplated a takeover of Grindrod Bank, the bank the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) uses for its monthly payouts of R11bn in social grants, documents show. Sassa uses Grindrod Bank to provide banking services to more than 10-million people. Documents and e-mails seen by this newspaper show how the family‚ through their investment arm‚ Oakbay Investments‚ wanted to take over the bank in November 2014. These details emerged amid a controversy over efforts by Vardospan‚ a company controlled by Guptas’ associate Salim Essa‚ to buy Habib Overseas Bank. That bid is now off the table‚ as the offer to sell the bank expired at the end of March after it unsuccessfully turned to the courts to force a decision on its bid. The contemplated Grindrod bid — “facilitated” by Vunani Capital‚ a shareholder of Grindrod Bank — came after the Bidvest bid failed to yield any fruit. In an e-mail titled “Grindrod Bank (Interest from Oakbay Investments)” — which was...

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