South Africans have weighed in on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) approaching Interpol to assist in arresting two of the corruption-accused Gupta brothers.
The NPA said it was applying to the international criminal police organisation to execute arrest warrants for:
- Atul Gupta and his wife, Chetali;
- Rajesh Gupta and his wife, Arti;
- Ankit Jain, former Nulane Investment Bank of Baroda account signatory;
- Ravindra Nath, director of Wone Management (Pty) Ltd; and
- Ramesh Bhat and Jagdish Parekh, the directors of Pragat Investments (Pty) Ltd.
The announcement received mixed responses on social media. Some welcomed the news and said it was a positive step towards holding to account corruption-accused individuals, while others were sceptical that the arrests would be carried out.
High-profile businessman and Gupta family associate Iqbal Sharma appeared at the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court on Thursday in connection with the failed R288m Estina dairy project.
He appeared alongside Peter Thabethe and Dr Limakatso Moorosi, former government officials in the department of agriculture, and Seipati Dhlamini, who was the department’s financial officer. The NPA said the arrest of a fifth suspect was imminent.
It said the four were arrested in the Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga on Wednesday in connection with the Estina scandal.
TimesLIVE reported that Thabethe and Moorosi faced charges of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act and fraud.
Dhlamini was charged with fraud while Sharma and Nulane Investments 204 (Pty) Ltd, where Sharma served as a director, faced charges of fraud and money laundering.
A state indictment revealed that the department of agriculture paid just under R25m into the Nedbank account of Nulane Investments 204 (Pty) Ltd for a feasibility study.
It says the money was allegedly laundered through several different accounts locally and one offshore account belonging to Gateway Ltd.
A pipe dream or not? Here’s what social media users had to say about the prospect of the Guptas being arrested: