Justice Minister Michael Masutha on Wednesday, 27 Sep in Johannesburg said that SA had penned down extradition treaty with the UAE, on a move targeting the prospect Gupta brothers, rich businessmen implicit in massive state capture.
Indian born alleged Gupta brothers- Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, are friends of former president Jacob Zuma and are accused of using their ties with the former SA president to gain unfettered access to billions of rands in public money. In a public inquiry opened last month to investigate the probe including Zuma, who is accused of overseeing the graft in his nine years of the regime of power, Gupta brothers are the center of the probe.
The investigation committee is looking into the allegation that, Gupta has inappropriately influenced cabinet appointments and allowed them to choose the minister for scandal known as “state capture”.
The three brothers are believed to be in Dubai, where they own businesses and property. However, South African police have issued an arrest warrant against Ajay Gupta over the corruption and state capture issue.
The other 2 Gupta brother, on the other hand, said that they are ready to answer, the entire allegation against them but that too on one condition that they will provide shreds of evidence from Dubai via a video link, rather than coming back to SA, as they fear from being the arrest.
But the commission chief officer and deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo rejected the plea of Guptas to participate in the commission inquiry from abroad.
Activist, opposition politicians and ministers of ruling party (ANC) have been calling for the extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates for long so that the accused Gupta brothers can be forced to return to South Africa,
Considering that Masutha and his UAE counterpart, Sultan Saeed al Badi, has recently signed the treaties on “extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters with Abu Dhabi” on Tuesday, the government said in a statement And further added that “the treaties will enable both the countries to assist each other in the investigation and procession of crime through mutual legal assistance and the extradition of fugitives from now.”
Indian official is also looking into the probe and investigating Gupta brother in their hometown, as a part of money laundering.
The democratic alliance minister on state companies Natasha Mazzone said: “this means that the infamous Gupta brothers, who are running out of places to hide, will now face extradition to answer for state capture in South Africa.”