When Duan Biggs was growing up in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, he used to watch elephants and rhinos walking past his bedroom window. He left home to pursue degrees in biology and economics, and when he returned in 2011 the park looked and sounded "like a pseudo war zone," he says.
"There'd be helicopters flying overhead all the time," he says. "I remember one afternoon coming back to my home from a game drive and the bush was crawling with people with assault rifles, from the army, from the police, and from National Parks. They were looking for poachers."
It's been dubbed Guptagate. The real-life story reads like a Hollywood — or Bollywood — script, and it's dominating the national conversation in South Africa.
It starts with a high-society wedding in South Africa, organized by three wealthy, well-connected and influential brothers named Gupta from India. Then the scandal begins: A private jet flies in 200 guests — including Bollywood stars — from India, landing at a restricted air force security base in Pretoria, allegedly without the appropriate clearance.
In South Africa, controversial images of a frail and ashen Nelson Mandela being visited by South Africa's current president aired on national television this week. Some people claimed it was a political publicity stunt.
The footage is fueling fresh debate about what is proper and what constitutes invasion of privacy regarding the ailing, 94-year-old former president and anti-apartheid legend.
President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by two other top officials of the governing ANC party, visited Mandela at his Johannesburg home on Monday.