S Africa: Opposition calls for prosecution of Guptas after arrest | Corruption News

SA politicians responded to the arrest of Guptas, who are embroiled in a protracted corruption scandal.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s leading opposition party has welcomed the controversial police arrest of the Gupta brothers in the United Arab Emirates and called for their prosecution.

Atul and Rajesh Gupta, two of the leading members of the Gupta family, have arrested in Dubai on Tuesday.

They fled there in April 2016, shortly after investigations into their role in using ties with former president Jacob Zuma, to influence contracts and appointments, were opened. increase.

Zuma, who served as president from 2009 to 2018, is on trial for embezzlement of public funds during his tenure due to collusion with the brothers, among others. He and Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DA called for more arrests in connection with the theft of state funds, “We hope that this is indeed the beginning of the arrests and prosecutions of those who are in trouble.” has – at home and abroad – plundered our country for many years and is directly responsible for the hardships facing millions of South Africans today”.

Dubai police say they received a Warning “red notice” from Interpol following an attempt by the South African Department of Justice and Correctional Services to apprehend the brothers “who are among South Africa’s most wanted suspects, in connection with money laundering and criminal charges.” in South Africa”.

Fees related to a $1.6 million government contract awarded to a Gupta-owned company, Islandssite, through an investment firm owned by a Gupta affiliate Iqbal Sharma , by the Department of Agriculture in the Free State Province, according to the National Public Prosecution Service (NPA).

Vuyo Zungula, leader of the smaller opposition African Transformation Movement (ATM), also commented, “The law must follow its rules, and we hope that the nation will be followed closely every developments until the completion of the court proceedings. ”

The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday also issued a statement calling on the authorities in South Africa and the UAE to “promote the extradition of Messrs Gupta to South Africa so that the charges against them can be brought to justice.” adjudicated by a court of law.”

But other politicians appear to be wary of the latest developments.

Julus Malema, outspoken leader of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said the story could be “a diversion to take attention away from President Cyril Ramaphosa”, who has also acknowledged recent serious allegations of corruption.

“Show me a picture of Guptas in prison,” he told the media at a press conference on Tuesday, “There is a very strong possibility that this story is being used as a distraction.”

A commission was set up to investigate corruption by top government officials and associates of Zuma, especially Guptas, during his presidency.

Hundreds of witnesses testified before the $65 million committee over its three years of operation. The first part of “State capture report” delivered in January 2022. According to reports, Guptas allegedly millions through government contracts into their own companies.

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services said, “Discussions between different law enforcement agencies in the UAE and South Africa about the way forward are ongoing. The South African government will continue to cooperate with the UAE”.

Chrispin Phiri, a ministry spokesman, declined to comment on the next stages of the Gupta brothers’ extradition process or the type of transparency that the public would be granted.

“We will not be making any additional comments; we can only confirm the arrests at the moment,” he told Al Jazeera.

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