South Africa and UAE draft agreement to extradite Guptas

The Justice Ministry in South Africa is in talks with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to bring the Guptas back to South Africa. The Guptas are three brothers of Indian heritage who moved to South Africa from India in 1993. There, they set up their business empire under the parent company Sahara Group. They have since been closely linked to former President Zuma, and have been accused of money laundering, collusion, fraud, corruption and misappropriating funds including millions of dollars’ worth of public money which was intended to support poor farmers but was directly deposited into Atul Gupta’s personal bank account. In February, the South African authorities raided the businesses and properties belonging to the Guptas which prompted them to leave for UAE. The talks between South Africa and UAE are not aimed at establishing an extradition treaty between the countries, but at reaching a “mutual legal agreement” applicable solely to the Guptas. Both South Africa and UAE want to ensure that the Guptas can be returned to South Africa to face the criminal charges outlined above.