Move with caution on Guptas
THE South African government has moved with great speed to conclude an extradition agreement with the United Arab Emirates.
This move should be commended as it will ensure that the government moves a step closer to getting the controversial Gupta family hauled before a court to account for the allegations of state capture.
The signing of the treaty gives renewed hope that the Gupta brothers will finally face the music.
The family left our shores in haste following the removal of their close friend, former president Jacob Zuma, amid mounting pressure for them to be investigated over allegations of corruption and state capture.
With one battle having been won, the government, through its organs of state such as the National Prosecuting Authority and the Hawks, must ensure that the State has enough evidence to successfully prosecute them.
It is pointless to rush the Guptas into our courts, only for them to walk because someone bungled the investigation. The government’s legal experts have acknowledged that for extradition to occur, “the state must already have prima facie or sufficient evidence to prosecute the person”.
It must be remembered that the Guptas and their business associates have scored legal victories against the state in the past. In May the High Court in Bloemfontein released the family’s assets, worth R250 million, including luxury cars, aircraft and properties seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit.
As people with deep pockets, the Gupta brothers are capable of getting the best legal minds in their desperate bid to stay out of jail. However, if our law enforcement agencies do their homework, all the resources the Guptas have won’t help their cause.