PARLIAMENT - Justice Minister Michael Masutha on Wednesday said he was in talks with the United Arab Emirates ambassador to South Africa to work on the fasttracking of formalising bilateral agreements on extradition and mutual legal assistance.
Briefing journalists ahead of delivering the budget vote of the office of the chief justice, Masutha was quizzed on what steps he was taking to ensure Ajay Gupta, one of the brothers wanted on corruption charges in South Africa, stands trial in South Africa.
Ajay Gupta, the eldest of the three Gupta brothers who allegedly siphoned billions of rand from the SA government allegedly because of their proximity to influential politicians, including former president Jacob Zuma, has been spotted in Dubai and India since being declared a fugitive from justice in South Africa.
Masutha said the UAE ambassador "expressed the strong desire on the part of his government of ensuring that we put in place all the necessary systems to facilitate this type of cooperation between our two countries" because of the number of South Africans currently residing in Dubai.
However, Masutha said there was no need to directly intervene in talks between law enforcement agencies in South Africa, Dubai and India as he was under the impression the matter was being dealt with adequately.
"At this stage, I don't think I have a reason to be concerned. I do not see the need for me to make any specific intervention at this stage because I'm convinced, at least for now, that the relevant agencies have the matter in hand."
African News Agency/ANA