The Gupta brothers flourished in South Africa due to their relationship with former President Jacob Zuma. When the tide turned; they took the money that they siphoned off state contracts and fled for Dubai. The brothers did not live a quiet lifestyle; they flaunted their money…our money throwing more lavish weddings in exotic destinations. Exasperated South Africans threw their hands up in the air wanting to know why the National Prosecuting Authority was not going after Ajay, Atul and Rajesh. In October this year, the United States of America was the first to act and placed economic sanctions on the Gupta family and Salim Essa which started the process of isolating the family. Up to now, the South African government did not have an extradition agreement with the United Arab Emirates, but extradition treaties have now been ratified which enables South Africa to ask the Middle Eastern emirate to stop harbouring the Guptas and to hand them over for criminal prosecution. Bringing the Guptas home to stand trial would be a great Christmas gift to our country. It remains to be seen what could be done to repatriate the estimated R6 billion that they managed to take out of the country. – Linda van Tilburg
By Loni Prinsloo
(Bloomberg) — South Africa will use a meeting in the United Arab Emirates this week to ramp up pressure on the country to sign an extradition agreement that could be used to extradite members of the Gupta family to face corruption-related allegations in Johannesburg.
“We have to establish through the meetings why the U.A.E has not signed the extradition treaty,” South African Justice Minister Ronald Lamola told reporters in Pretoria on Monday. Authorities in South Africa signed their side of the agreement last year and now need their counterparts in the Middle East to do the same, he said.
South African authorities have accused members of the Gupta family of using their links with former President Jacob Zuma to secure deals to loot state-owned companies. The Guptas, some of whom reside in the emirate of Dubai, deny any wrongdoing. The Guptas became a focus of controversy in 2013 after arranging for a chartered jet full of wedding guests to land at a South African military base. The U.S. imposed sanctions on Gupta family members in October.
Lamola, Public Services Minister Senzo Mchunu and other senior government officials are travelling to the U.A.E this week to attend a United Nations conference on corruption, to be held in Abu Dhabi.