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Our take: Justice finally catches up with the Guptas

This is huge: two of the brothers wanted for their alleged involvement in the looting of our state coffers, have been arrested in Dubai. Rajesh and Atul Gupta were arrested on Monday, the South African Justice Department confirmed

In a statement, the Dubai Police stated that the brothers were arrested “in connection with money laundering and criminal charges in South Africa”. The brothers have been accused of paying bribes in exchange for lucrative state contracts and influence over ministerial appointments. President Cyril Ramaphosa said that state capture had cost South Africa R500-billion. Besides the lost billions, key state institutions such as Eskom and Transnet were plundered and hollowed out, and continue to hold the South African economy and state purse hostage. All this happened during former president Jacob Zuma’s nine-year administration. 

Zuma and the Gupta brothers have denied all allegations. 

The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) said on Tuesday it had assembled a team of experts and was working on the extradition of the two men to South Africa. 

The arrests come a year after South Africa and the UAE ratified their extradition treaty. Interpol issued a red notice against the pair in March 2022. Although this is a step forward, it must be noted that the legal process could take years to complete. Legal expert Professor Omphemetse S Sibanda, wrote in the Daily Maverick, that the process would be a “tedious and complex process even though there is an extradition treaty.”

The existence of a treaty does not mean that the process will be without challenges. But it is wonderful to see the architects of state capture finally on their way to being held accountable after so many years. The ramifications of state capture are being felt everywhere – from load shedding to the collapse of the rail system to the devastation of the judicial system. And we will continue to feel the effects of this destruction for many years. The people of South Africa deserve some sort of justice.

The NPA has been on a roll with state capture arrests before this, and now the onus is on them and the Justice Department to not bungle this one. No booking them on Ryanair now, asseblief … We need a win.

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