IN what has been described as an "outrageous" move, the Guptas are suing two newspapers for a combined R1-billion for defamation.
The claims against the Sunday Times and the Mail & Guardian – launched in the Pretoria High Court – relate to reports published in March.
They refer to an alleged offer by a Gupta family member to bribe former SAA chairman Vuyisile Kona at a meeting held at the family's Saxonwold compound.
Brothers Atul and Rajesh Gupta, on behalf of their family, are each claiming R500-million. Atul brought the Sunday Times lawsuit, while Rajesh brought the Mail & Guardian one.
In court papers, the brothers claim the reports were wrongful and defamatory as they painted the family as dishonest, corrupt and deceitful.
Both papers are defending the cases.
Sunday Times lawyer Eric van den Berg said the amount claimed was out of proportion to any award made in South Africa.
Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief Chris Roper said: "The amount seems, to put it mildly, outrageous.
"One can't help wondering whether this is more about intimidation than a desire for justice.
"We will, of course, be vigorously defending the case." – Lehlohonolo Tau