File picture: ANA Pictures
File picture: ANA Pictures

Don’t expect swift return of Guptas now that extradition treaty signed - Ronald Lamola

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Jun 11, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Justice Department has welcomed the finalisation and ratification of the treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance between South Africa and the UAE but warned South Africans not to expect the swift return of the Gupta's.

In an early morning media briefing on Friday, Minister Ronald Lamola said that they could not put a timeline to when the extradition process for the Gupta Brothers and their family would begin or conclude. He said this could sometimes become a "protracted legal process".

"We should not expect that the people of interest will board a plane to South Africa first thing tomorrow morning," Lamola said.

He said the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Service met with the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to South Africa, Mahash Saeed Salem Alhameli, to exchange ratification instruments between the two states on Thursday.

"We welcome the finalisation and ratification of the treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance between South Africa and the UAE. These treaties are expected to allow for greater cooperation between the two states on legal matters and assist in the investigation and prosecution of crimes," he said.

South Africa and the UAE began negotiating the treaties in February 2010. The Extradition Treaty and Mutual Legal Assistance agreement between the two nations were entered into on September 25, 2018. The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services at the time, Advocate Michael Masutha, and his United Arab Emirates counterpart, Sultan Saeed Al Badi, signed Treaties on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Within two months of agreeing, the Parliament of South Africa during its plenary sitting on 15 November 2018, ratified the Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Treaties between the Republic of South Africa and the UAE.

"In essence, the ratification by the UAE concludes a ten-year process. The treaties will come into force 30 days after the ratification instruments have been exchanged, which is 10 July 2021," Lamola said.

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Political Bureau

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