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Police have confirmed an incident on Saturday night where JP Arora, the CEO of Gupta-owned JIC Mining, was shot and killed on New Road in Midrand, north of Johannesburg.

According to News24, Arora was returning from the airport after collecting a passenger from an international flight. Sources with information regarding the incident allege that Arora was shot once in the head.

SAPS spokesperson, Captain Kay Makhubele, could only confirm that Arora was wounded in the upper body and could not verify comments that the Arora's vehicle was sprayed with bullets. Makhubele said, "He managed to drive some distance on New Road, and came to a stop near the Engen garage."

Media reports claim a source has said there is speculation that labour issues surrounding the liquidation of Westdawn Investment, which traded as JIC Mining, is the underlying factor surrounding the slaying.

The company, which acted as a labour broker between the Optimum Coal Mine – which is owned by the Gupta's – and Gupta-linked mining companies, Sethemba and Sabelo Coal, technically had no employees of its own.

The liquidation of Westdawn/JIC incurred around 450 retrenchments of mostly underground workers at Optimum. According to media reports, last week, approximately 300 of these workers protested outside the mine because they haven't received a salary for at least two months.

The business rescue practitioners (BRP) released a statement on Monday morning that read, "Our sincere condolences go out to Mr Arora's family, his loved ones and his colleagues. We are gravely concerned about this tragic turn of events and are putting immediate measures in place to tighten security at Optimum Coal Mine so as to ensure that the safety and security of all the mine's employees are not compromised."

The BRP has been overseeing eight Gupta companies, including Optimum, since February this year.

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