The news of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) refusing to extradite the Gupta brothers to South Africa has caused a stir in the country. Justice Minister Ronald Lamola confirmed this development, stating that the brothers will not be facing charges of money laundering and fraud. This is a major blow to the South African government’s efforts to bring the Guptas to justice, especially since they were implicated in the State Capture report.
For those unfamiliar with the State Capture report, it exposed deep levels of corruption in the government of then-president Jacob Zuma and various state entities, including Eskom. The Gupta brothers – Atul and Rajesh – were accused of irregularly awarding tenders, influencing political appointments, and capturing the South African Revenue Service.
Following Zuma’s ousting in 2018, the Guptas fled South Africa and have since been living in Dubai. In July 2021, Interpol issued a red notice for their arrest, stating that they were being sought for fraud and money laundering in connection with a $1.6 million contract paid to a Gupta-linked company. However, the red notice has since expired.
In recent news, the Gupta brothers were reportedly spotted in Switzerland, adding to the mystery surrounding their whereabouts and making it clear that they have been able to evade justice thus far.
The refusal of the UAE to extradite the Gupta brothers is a major setback for South Africa’s efforts to combat corruption and bring those responsible to justice. It highlights the need for countries to work together to combat transnational crimes and bring criminals to justice. As the situation unfolds, it is important for the South African government to continue its efforts to hold those responsible accountable and prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.