The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader, Velenkosini Hlabisa, says the country’s failure to secure the extradition of Rajesh and Atul Gupta is a clear indication of a weak and hopeless state.
Hlabisa was reacting to the United Arab Emmirates’ decision to refuse South Africa’s extradition request for the Gupta brothers. He says government has failed on a number of fronts including the fight against crime, unemployment as well as the extradition of Pastor Bushiri from Malawi. Hlabisa says its disgraceful to have a government that fails in everything.
The IFP leader however, says South Africans have the opportunity to change things at the 2024 elections.
“The government of South Africa has failed the issue of Bushiri, the issue of Senzo Meyiwa, the issues of AKA, the issue of Dr Nandi where a corpse was taken to prison and was burnt there. It’s a disgrace to have a government that is failing in every angle can it be law, service delivery issues, unemployment. We are so unfortunate that is why we are a country in despair. The IFP is offering itself to be the servant because we know how to fix things.”
Meanwhile, civil society organisation, Open Secrets says it is not shocked by the news of the UAE’s refusal of the South African extradition request for the Gupta brothers.
Word came in a diplomatic note received late on Thursday informing the justice ministry that an extradition hearing had taken place in Dubai- more than 6 weeks ago and that the court denied the request.
It found that the arrest warrant for the brothers on fraud and corruption charges had been cancelled and that as far as those of money-laundering were concerned, the UAE had jurisdiction to prosecute the alleged crime.
Open Secrets’ head of investigations, Michael Marchant adds, “We’re left with a great degree of uncertainty- and part of this uncertainty arises because of the timing of this announcement. We’ve had reports for example of the Guptas travelling to Switzerland- before the news broke in South Africa about their extradition being unsuccessful. And so, we really have very little knowledge of how much they’ve been travelling over the last few months- and what they’ve been using that travel to achieve- and what this does. I think this creates uncertainty here- as it creates space for the Guptas once again to avoid accountability.
The Department of Justice and Correctional Services says they still intend on engaging with their counterparts to ensure that the decision of the Court is appealed promptly.
Media Statement | Update on the Gupta Extradition pic.twitter.com/BoYJYpoYKd
— Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services (@Min_JCS) April 7, 2023