The infamous Gupta family allegedly responsible for South Africa`s State Capture have been captured! At least two of them, Atul and Rajesh Gupta were arrested on the 3rd June in the United Arab Emirate (UAE). They are WANTED in South Africa for fraud and money laundering in South Africa, where they and a third brother Ajul ruled over a huge business empire, which allowed them to rob the South African state methodically over a decade. Mind you, they had some useful help: the then President Jacob Zuma was on their side. Naturally the Guptas and Zuma denied any wrongdoing.
The arrest of Atul and Rajesh Gupta concerns a public contract issued by South Africa’s Free State provincial government. The charges against them are regarded as a test case for other state-capture cases.
For Zuma’s successor Cyril Ramaphosa these arrests are a large feather in his Presidential hat. The judicial Zondo inquiry reported to him in April, saying that Zuma had “readily opened the doors” for the Indian-born brother; adding that captured by the three, Zuma had carried out all their wishes, advancing their business interest, which had advanced “State capture”. In other words, they received lucrative contracts and other privileges and even had a say as to who should be appointed to cabinet positions. Indeed, the entire system began to unravel in 2015 because the then deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas had rejected a huge bribe to take on the Ministerial job. This had its consequences. Zuma finally had to go in 2018, leading to an instant exodus of the Guptas.
President Ramaphosa promising to clear up the Augean stable. However, that was no easy task, Zuma and the Guptas had gained major allies within the leading party and in Zuma’s homeland, KwaZulu. The ex-President and his cronies fought back. When Zuma was jailed for a short time on a count of contempt of Court, violence broke out, the worst since the end of apartheid, leading to looting, attacks on infrastructure and 300 deaths. Opposition to State Capture charges have continued, only recently an important civil servant received a death threat, warning President Ramaphosa against going ahead with State Capture charges.
South Africa’s Justice Minister said talks were going on between the UAE and South Africa. The outcome is being watched with interest by many.