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'The key thing is to get them here': political analysts on Gupta arrests

07 June 2022 - 12:12
Rajesh 'Tony' and Atul Gupta.
Rajesh 'Tony' and Atul Gupta.
Image: File photo

The arrest of two of the Gupta brothers, accused of being key figures in state capture, has been welcomed — but analysts caution their extradition process will be crucial.

Wits University’s head of political studies Prof Daryl Glaser said the arrest was symbolic and an important development. However, he was not sure the state's case was strong enough to secure extradition.

“My one worry is whether the state has a watertight case that can secure extradition.”

University of Johannesburg professor of political science Mcebisi Ndletyana said the key was to get the Gupta brothers back to SA.

“This is a welcome development because they are a central part in the state capture problem but they need to be here and face prosecution,” Ndletyana said.

He hoped their prosecution would unearth new information. “They’ll try to strike some deals. Normally people who are prosecuted try to wiggle their way out of the conundrum. This is a good development, but the key thing is to get them here.”

The state should ensure it gets as much information as possible from the Guptas, especially information not yet known, Ndletyana said.

The justice department on Monday confirmed the arrest of Atul and Rajesh Gupta in Dubai.

“The ministry of justice and correctional services confirms that it has received information from law enforcement authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that fugitives of justice, namely Rajesh and Atul Gupta, have been arrested,” it said.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it is engaging with the relevant authorities on the arrest of the Guptas.

“Extradition is a complex process involving many roleplayers, including the executive. It would therefore not be appropriate for the NPA to discuss the details of that process in the media but can confirm that we are engaging with relevant authorities in SA and UAE,” it said in a statement.

The NPA said it had an experienced team of internal and external experts working closely with law enforcement and their partners in the criminal justice system on the matter. 

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