An “infuriated” and “marooned” Ajay Gupta has again denied his family’s involvement in state capture, this time to The New York Times.
“I’m not saying that I’m not coming to the commission (of inquiry into it),” Gupta told the paper from Dubai where he is now based.
“I will, but not at this moment,” he said – and added he wanted to clear his name.
He may get his wish.
On September 24, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates signed a mutual legal assistance and extradition treaty, which will allow for the extradition of the Gupta brothers.
The Hawks are believed to be working through international police group Interpol to have them extradited from India or Dubai.
The brothers are wanted on charges of fraud and corruption in relation to the Estina dairy project in Vrede‚ Free State, as well as allegedly offering a bribe to former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas in 2015.
A joint application by the brothers to cross-examine former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, former government communication and information services head Themba Maseko, and Jonas through a video link was denied by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the chair of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
Zondo is empowered by the Commissions Act to summon witnesses.
“A commission shall … have the powers which a Provincial Division of the Supreme Court of South Africa has … to summon witnesses, to cause an oath or affirmation to be administered to them, to examine them, and to call for the production of books, documents and objects,” the Act states.
Any person summoned to attend and give evidence before the commission and failed to do so would be guilty of an offence and subject to a fine, or imprisonment, or both.