15 November 2018

South Africa: Time Up for the Guptas? Parliament Approves Extradition Treaty With UAE

The National Assembly has approved the signing and ratification of an extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which could see the Gupta brothers brought to book for state capture allegations.

The adoption of the extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties on criminal matters was unanimously approved by all political parties on Thursday.

The step is a culmination of an eight-year process which began with discussions between the two countries in February 2010.

ACDP MP Steve Swart welcomed the ratifying of the agreements, which he said would pave the way for the Guptas to return to South Africa.

However, he questioned why the process took so long to come to fruition.

"I raised my concerns regarding the Guptas in April 2016, and only now, two and a half years later, are we seeing the agreements being ratified."

ANC MP Gijimani Skosana deflected Swart's criticism.

"It takes time for bilateral agreements to reach consensus. It took us eight years to get to the point of having the treaty approved," said Solana.

He said the treaty reaffirmed the ANC's commitment to act against international terrorism and crime.

DA MP Glynis Breytenbach said the DA welcomed the adoption of the treaty and hoped that the Guptas would be held to account for "looting our fiscus and that there will be less place for them to hide".

Justice Minister Michael Masutha signed both treaties on September 25 in Abu Dhabi after getting authorisation from President Cyril Ramaphosa to do so on behalf of the South African government.

The UAE is made up of Abu Dhabi' Ajman' the popular Dubai' Fujairah' Ras al Khaimah' Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain.

The Gupta brothers, Ajay, Atul and Rajesh, are believed to be in Dubai, where they own property and businesses.

They left South Africa earlier this year when Parliament called for them to be investigated for allegations of state capture.

Source: News24

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