13/08/2022

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South Africa; The Gupta brothers arrest and planned extradition a “big blow” for Zuma?

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At the heart of former South Africa president Jacob Zuma’s travails was a notorious name- Gupta.

The Gupta brothers wanted in South Africa for their alleged involvement in a massive corruption scheme, are now awaiting extradition after being arrested Tuesday in the United Arab Emirates UAE.

Dubai police said they arrested the two brothers, wanted over allegedly looting state money alongside the former South African President and lived in the sheikdom for years.

The arrest was the latest major extradition arrest by authorities in the United Arab Emirates.

South African political analyst Asanda Ngoasheng believes the arrest of Atul and Rajesh Gupta was a “big blow” for Jacob Zuma.

Ngoasheng in an interview said there was a direct link between the Guptas and Zuma’s children, specifically his son.

The political analyst says if they were eventually being brought back to South Africa for prosecution, Zuma’s family would also be faced with similar charges.

She added that even if the country does not recover any of the stolen public funds it would still be a big step towards understanding how state corruption worked.

The two arrested Guptas, as well as their brother Ajay, had been suspected of hiding out in Dubai since fleeing South Africa around the same time Zuma resigned in 2018 amid allegations he had overseen massive levels of corruption at state-owned companies.

Dubai police did not immediately acknowledge Ajay Gupta’s whereabouts.

Their family has denied the allegations previously. It wasn’t immediately clear if the two had a local lawyer.

According to South African media reports in 2016 that the Gupta family had purchased a $30 million residence in Dubai’s Emirates Hills neighborhood, which had 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, nine reception rooms, a double grand staircase, a hand-painted dome, space for 11 cars, and chandeliers in virtually every room.