Is South Africa Any Closer To Capturing The Guptas?

In an effort to have the infamous Gupta brothers extradited back from the United Arab Emirates back to South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador of South Africa confirmed that an agreement between South Africa and the UAE on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and extradition was signed in 2018.

Furthermore, a statement issued on Wednesday by the UAE's ambassador to South Africa, Mahash Alhameli revealed that the agreement between both countries was ratified on 11 April 2021.

This forms part of efforts by The National Prosecuting Authority's Investigative Directorate to have both Gupta brothers and additional members of their family deported back to South Africa to stand trial for charges of fraud and money laundering according to an article published by New24

The statement was issued just days after the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Investigating Directorate (ID) said it asked Interpol to circulate an international arrest warrant to have the Guptas deported to South Africa to stand trial for fraud and money laundering.

However, some experts are not as enthusiastic about these new developments, citing that it is a delayed process that is likely to take longer to bear any tangible results, like seeing the Gupta family extradited back to the country and face justice for their crimes. 

Representative of the Afro-Middle East Centre, Na'eem Jeenah said that South Africans should not be as optimistic about this.

"Eleven years in the making. The discussion started in 2010, signed in 2018, ratified four months after that by South Africa and ratified only three years later in April this year by the UAE. No, I don't think we should as excited as I see many people being. The UAE is not keen on these kinds of things," he said 

"Let's remember that Dubai's economy, to a great extent, is propped up by dodgy business people like the Guptas and suspicious financial flows etc. They don't really want a situation where they spook all of these people and get them to leave, so I don't think we should be celebrating yet and I think that that's the reason why the South African government's response has been pretty muted," he added  


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