File image: Ajay and Atul Gupta. IOL.
File image: Ajay and Atul Gupta. IOL.

‘Guptas will stand trial in SA’

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Apr 26, 2018

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Durban - Deputy President David Mabuza has ­insisted that the Guptas will be pursued and brought back to the country to stand trial over state capture allegations.

Mabuza told Parliament on Wednesday that they would work with governments in other countries including Dubai to get the Guptas back to South Africa.

He said the Guptas, former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, and other associates would be brought to justice.

He said the country had ­institutions that would work to ensure this was done.

Some senior officials in state-owned entities have faced disciplinary action over state capture.

At Eskom, former executives Matshela Koko, Anoj Singh and Sean Maritz quit a few months ago.

Eight other executives face disciplinary action at the power utility.

Mabuza said they were re-organising SOEs to ensure proper governance, adding that President Cyril Ramaphosa would chair the new SOE council to drive the entities to a growth trajectory.

“There are no people who will escape our law. With those countries, wherever they are, they should have a way to ­inform those countries that they have certain people to ­answer to in South Africa,” said Mabuza.

The Guptas left the country in February, and the Hawks have since been pursuing them.

The Hawks, the South African Revenue Service and Asset Forfeiture Unit raided a number of the Guptas’ properties across the country and seized some of their assets. This ­included jets, luxury vehicles and properties in Joburg, Cape Town and Durban.

The Gupta family have denied any wrongdoing. In India, they are also wanted by the tax authorities for transactions in that country.

Mabuza said the government intended recovering money stolen from the SOEs.

Part of the work of the SOE council would be to ensure that credible people were appointed to the boards of SOEs.

There have been changes to the boards of Eskom, state arms manufacturer Denel and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

Guidelines

Mabuza said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was working on a plan that would provide guidelines for the appointment of board members of SOEs.

“We have been assured by the minister that they are in the process of developing those guidelines that will help them select board members,” said Mabuza.

“Beyond that, we are speaking about a council that will oversee the boards to check if they are doing their work properly.”

Mabuza added that he supported a proposal by the ACDP that board members and executive directors who had been found guilty of wrongdoing in SOEs be declared delinquent directors.

The Mercury

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