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Action at last

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We trust the Hawks and prosecutions service have their case thoroughly investigated and fully prepared

African National Congress President Cyril Ramaphosa PHOTO: Henk Kruger/ANA

CYRIL Ramaphosa’s election as leader of the ANC ignited our security services on the issue of state capture. Apparent inertia and reluctance evaporated, almost as though they had been busy with it, but had been waiting for the go-ahead.

The new ANC president told them not to wait for the outcome of a commission of inquiry into state capture – they should press on in prosecuting clear-cut cases.

Yesterday, in dramatic scenes at the Gupta family’s estate in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, investigators of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) pounced, and three people were arrested, one a family member.

Two more were expected to report to the Hawks in connection with a farm project in the Free State which allegedly led to undue enrichment.

Volumes have been written and said about the influence of the Gupta family in South Africa. The focus has fallen most on their relationship with President Jacob Zuma; they are widely thought to be at the centre of government rot.

Now we have arrests, and the prospect of a trial where general suspicion and loathing will be held up to careful scrutiny. This promises a contested, public examination of some of the Guptas’ dealings, their involvement in government and their exact share in unauthorised and unwanted power.

It switches the issue from media exposés and the court of public opinion to detailed scrutiny,

It took far too long to reach this point, but yesterday’s decisive activity must be welcomed. We trust the Hawks and prosecutions service have their case thoroughly investigated and fully prepared.