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Indian-origin family wedding triggers political row

A controversial wedding in an Indian-origin family in South Africa has allegedly created a rift between President Jacob Zuma and African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, a media report said.

The wedding in the influential Gupta family got hit by controversy when a chartered aircraft carrying guests from India landed at an air force base at Waterkloof near Pretoria on 30 April.

The aircraft incident was the final straw for Mantashe, who has allegedly been privately expressing concern that the family was wielding too much influence in the South African government and ANC affairs, the Independent Online reported quoting unnamed sources.

Mantashe’s supporters also had come out in support of ANC vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa to take over as party president in 2017, fearing some of Zuma’s allies would try to block Ramaphosa from taking over.

The bride in the wedding was Vega Gupta, daughter of Achla Gupta, the only sister to the politically connected Gupta brothers - Ajay, Atul and Rajesh - and the groom was India-born Aakash Jahajgarhia. The Guptas own the New Age newspaper and Sahara Computers and are known to be close to President Zuma. The private aircraft - an A330-200 belonging to Indian carrier Jet Airways - landing on the air force base had sparked outrage from South African sections.
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