By Neelam Rahim
Rajesh and Atul Gupta were arrested in Dubai on Monday, making headlines in South Africa and abroad. They fled there in April 2016, shortly after investigations into their role in using their affiliation with former president Jacob Zuma to influence contracts and appointments intensified.
The National Prosecuting Authority has noted confirmation of the arrests of the two Gupta brothers in the UAE.
“Discussions between various law enforcement agencies in the UAE and South Africa on the way forward are ongoing. The South African government will continue to co-operate with the UAE,” the department said.
Welcoming the arrests, civil society organisation Corruption Watch said they came due to South Africa’s appeal for mutual legal assistance from the UAE and the issuing of red notices through Interpol.
“The arrests did not come out of the blue but are the result of persistent efforts to institute a legal process against the brothers. While it is a significant development, it is just one step closer to ensuring that justice is done. The Guptas are made to face the full might of the law in this country,” said Karam Singh, executive director of Corruption Watch.
Julus Malema, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, said, “Give me a picture of the Gupta’s in prison first. There’s a possibility that this story might be used as a diversion. Why are there no charges against Duduzane, who facilitated the Gupta corruption?”
The governing African National Congress (ANC) also released a statement on Tuesday urging the authorities in South Africa and the UAE “to expedite the extradition of Gupta brothers to South Africa so that a court of law can adjudicate the charges against them.”