On Friday, the government of South Africa made the announcement that a court in the United Arab Emirates had denied its request for the extradition of the Gupta brothers, Atul and Rajesh, who are at the center of a large state corruption scandal involving former President Jacob Zuma. Ronald Lamola, the Minister of Justice, said that the decision of a court in Dubai not to extradite two brothers who were arrested in the same city in June was sent to the government on Thursday evening. The two brothers were detained in Dubai.
“We were shocked and dismayed to learn that the extradition hearing was held in the Dubai court on February 13, 2023, and that our extradition request was denied,” Lamola said in a statement. The two brothers Gupta, along with their third brother, Ajay, who is of Indian descent, and together they make up a strong triad of businesspeople, have been accused of plundering the state coffers with Mr. Zuma’s assistance when he was in office for the past nine years. (2009-2018).
South Africa asked for the brothers to be sent there in July, not long after they were arrested in Dubai. The three people left South Africa not long after a commission led by Justice Raymond Zondo was set up in 2018 to look into corruption at the state level. The problematic public contract in question is valued at around 1.5 million euros, and it is at the heart of the extradition request. A portion of the many allegations that have been leveled against the Gupta brothers.
According to Lamola, the court in the UAE determined that it had jurisdiction over the money laundering accusations that were brought against the two brothers because the alleged offenses had been committed in both the UAE and South Africa.
According to the minister, the judge who was in charge of the case decided to drop the fraud and corruption charges. This meant that the arrest order was no longer valid. “The reasons given for the rejection of our application are inexplicable,” he stated.