The embattled Gupta family contemplated a takeover of Grindrod Bank – the bank the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) uses for its monthly payouts of R11-billion of social grants‚ documents show. Sassa uses Grindrod Bank to provide banking services to over 10-million people. Documents and emails seen by TimesLIVE show how the family‚ through their investment arm‚ Oakbay Investments‚ wanted to take over the bank in November 2014. These details emerge amid a controversy over efforts by Vardospan‚ a company controlled by the 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 Grinrod bid – “facilitated” by Vunani Capital‚ a shareholder of Grindrod Bank – came after a Bidvest bid went nowhere. In an email titled “Grindrod Bank (Interest from Oakbay Investments)”‚ which was sent on 19 November 2014‚ Vim...

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