SA reacts to US sanctions against Gupta brothers, Salim Essa
Johannesburg - The United States Treasury on Thursday announced that it had sanctioned the Gupta brothers and their associate Salim Essa from conducting business in the country.
Taking to Twitter to react to the news, most South Africans appeared to celebrate the news as a welcome measure, while there were some who jumped to the defence of the Gupta brothers, arguing they had not been found guilty by a court of law.
The Gupta brothers - which consist of Atul, Ajay and Tony Gupta, are accused of grand scale state corruption during the presidency of former president Jacob Zuma. They are accused of using their close relationship with the former president to profit financially and influence senior government appointments.
The Guptas now reside in the United Arab Emirates after leaving the country when Zuma was removed as state president two years ago.
"The Gupta family leveraged its political connections to engage in widespread corruption and bribery, capture government contracts, and misappropriate state assets," said the US Treasury in a statement on Thursday.
"We will continue to exclude from the US financial system those who profit from corruption."
In a separate statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "As a result of today's actions, any property, or interest in property, of those designated within US jurisdiction is blocked,"
"The United States strongly supports ongoing efforts by the Government of South Africa, including its independent judiciary, judicial commissions of inquiry, and law enforcement agencies, to investigate and prosecute alleged instances of corruption," Pompeo said.
Reacting to the news, South Africans appeared to be overwhelmingly in support of the US sanctions, with some bemoaning the NPA’s failure to act, but there were a few who appeared to come to the defence of the controversial family.
SUPPORT FOR SANCTIONS
US giving #Guptas a big F U♥— dweb (@db1sa) October 11, 2019
While @CyrilRamaphosa & his @MYANC dunderheads are busy playing black mampatile, the US is showing them how to deal with the Gupta thugs. The US says their action is in solidarity with the people of SA and how the Guptas looted their billions in the midst of massive poverty pic.twitter.com/f1hDTgy7TS— Chingaira CC Chivanga (@Chingaira_) October 10, 2019
#Guptas hopefully the UAE kicks them out in the near future . well done US .— Roger (@roger_JMD) October 11, 2019
#Guptas must be squeezed hard til they come back to SA as asylum seek. SA is a great country full of amazing people welcoming foreign nationals from all over the world some fleeing from conflict n for 1 family to come n abuse that hospitality is unacceptable.Go to hell #Guptas— #ThumaMina #I'm an African (@PAYATTENTION20) October 11, 2019
SUPPORT FOR GUPTAS
The #Guptas are being criminally charged in the #USA for corruption and money laundering committed in @SouthAfrica while our law enforcement agencies and courts are doing exactly nothing! The #USTreasury have also imposed sanctions against these criminals while we do nothing.— Ngoako Kunta J. Kganakga (@kunta_j) October 10, 2019
The White House is posturing itself to care about international corruption matters due to the impeachment/Biden case. Guptas were a low hanging fruit for this narrative.....smart.— Mayi (@MTshwete) October 11, 2019
And they don't " sanction" Markus Jooste, This Gupta narritive is boring now, Markus Jooste is right here in SA I don't see any headlines about him— Brown (@Jobe_Brown) October 11, 2019
What charges are those? The ones the media and Hawks made a huge spectacle about attaching Gupta properties only for the court to reverse that? They couldn't prove that the Guptas benefited from the Estina project. That case flopped face-first.— Proudly African (@african_heart12) October 11, 2019
Did any south african court find the Gupta Brothers guilty of corruption. Someone please help me here.— Tino Mambeu (@TTMambeu) October 11, 2019
Gupta have not been found guilty of any crime yet #USA imposes sanctions on them, WHY ,all pushed by @CyrilRamaphosa #PravinGordhan after realising that @StateCaptureCom #StateCaptureInquiry is a disaster, wont achieve their agenda .#ZandileGumede #ThursdayThoughts @RonaldLamola— THEMBA (@stumbue) October 10, 2019
@realDonaldTrump Hi Mr Trump hope you are well Sir I have a smaller nyana favour to ask of you. Please stay away from SAns affairs. Gupta's are innocent until proven guilty. SA problem is WMC like Rupert and Oppenheimers. Please live the Guptas Alone.— Umhlaba Wethu (@andile90812356) October 11, 2019