South Africa has signed an extradition agreement with the United Araba Emirates (UAE), which brings the Gupta’s one step closer to justice.
The Minister of International Relations, Lindiwe Sisulu, has confirmed that treaties have been ratified between South African and the UAE during a Second Joint Commission which took place this week. The agreement was reached with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE, Sheihk Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The extradition agreement, which was officially signed off by the National Assembly on Thursday, was first tabled in September. The agreement, which includes a clause on mutual legal assistance, could see the infamous Gupta family extradited to South Africa to face charges relating to corruption and state capture.
Hide and seek with the Guptas
The Gupta family, which includes brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh “Tony”, fled South Africa earlier this year following a fierce political fallout which saw former president Jacob Zuma removed from power. As elite law enforcement agencies began to close in on the Guptas’ business interests, most of which had been marred by controversy involving corruption, the three brothers sought refuge back in their homeland of India.
The fall of Zuma unearthed a labyrinth of nepotism and corruption involving the Gupta family. Local law enforcement has been eager to get their hands on the Guptas, yet, their whereabouts, for the most part, have been shrouded in mystery.
It’s speculated that the brothers have sought refuge in Dubai – as they’ve also been feeling the heat in India. This means that, should the new extradition agreement be put into action, the UAE will be forced to send the Guptas back to South Africa where they will face criminal charges.
The Guptas have, no doubt, caught wind of the new agreements which have been signed into law. In all likelihood, they are already packing their bags. This, opposition party politicians say, is all the more reason for law enforcement to act fast.
According to a report by EWN, Ntombovuyo Mente of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), said:
“We therefore urge the government of the UAE to arrest those criminals immediately to ensure they do not escape.”
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