Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
10 Jun 2021
10:55 am

Kathrada Foundation pickets for speedy extradition of Guptas

Thapelo Lekabe

On Wednesday, the UAE embassy said it had ratified the UAE extradition agreements with South Africa earlier this year in April.

Atul Gupta. Picture: Gallo Images.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will on Thursday picket outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy calling for the extradition of the Gupta family.

Earlier this week, the foundation welcomed the recent measures taken by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to hold the Guptas and their business associates accountable for allegations of state capture and corruption.

ALSO READ: Ahmed Kathrada Foundation welcomes charges against Guptas, associates

The foundation’s executive director Neeshan Balton said the aim of the picket is to demand that the UAE government fast track the Guptas’ extradition to SA.

The foundation also wants the South African government to ensure cooperation between the two countries is expedited at the senior government level.

“We want the ambassador to receive our memorandum, acknowledge it publicly, to indicate the commitment of the UAE and to outline the kind of steps they will take to enforce the [extradition] agreements,” Balton told Newzroom Afrika on Thursday morning.

“Going forward from here, the campaign to ensure the Guptas come back will take other forms. It will also be directed at other people associated with the family.”

On Wednesday, the UAE embassy said it had ratified the UAE extradition agreements with South Africa earlier this year in April.

Ambassador Mahash Alhameli said the agreements would ensure the Guptas are brought back to South Africa to answer to allegations of state capture.

“These agreements have been and remain key to the UAE in promoting judicial and legal cooperation with South Africa and strengthening bilateral relations between law enforcement institutions and partners on both sides,” Alhameli said.

The NPA’s Investigating Directorate (ID) has already asked Interpol to assist with arrest warrants for Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta and their wives.

The Guptas and their family fled the country in 2018 for the UAE after law enforcement agencies ramped up their investigations into allegations of state capture.

The ID is also seeking the arrests of other suspects who are outside the country linked to a dodgy feasibility study contract for the Vrede dairy farm project in the Free State.

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