Home South African News #Guptas #DuduzaneZuma: Bounty on the heads of the fugitives now at almost...

#Guptas #DuduzaneZuma: Bounty on the heads of the fugitives now at almost R2 m

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It is believed that Duduzane is also being sought in connection with culpable homicide charges.

Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane and Ajay Gupta. File picture: Chris Collingridge/Independent Media

THE bounty on the heads of the Gupta brothers and Duduzane Zuma continues to grow, standing at almost 
R2 million.

As the Hawks continued their hunt for Gupta family patriarch Ajay, they are also reportedly intensifying their search for former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane.

Duduzane and Ajay, at the centre​ of state capture allegations, have been evading arrest since Wednesday after the Hawks raided the Gupta mansion in Saxonwold, Johannesburg.

Besides being sought for their alleged role in the fraud scandal at the Estina dairy farm in Vrede in the Free State, according to news reports this morning, Duduzane is also being sought for culpable homicide.

It is believed that Head of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) Shaun Abrahams, is reconsidering a previous decision not to prosecute the son of former president Jacob Zuma, for culpable homicide. 

The case relates to a fatal accident in which Duduzane crashed into a minibus taxi on the M1 highway in 2014, killing a young woman passenger, Phumzile Dube.

An inquest determined he was not criminally responsible, but the head of Afriforum’s private prosecution unit, Gerrie Nel, sent a letter to the NPA on behalf of the Dube family, to obtain a certificate of non-prosecution, which would allow the civil society group to pursue a private prosecution. 

However, Abrahams has now informed AfriForum that he is reviewing the decision and a letter was sent to Duduzane Zuma on February 2, asking him to supply reasons why he should not be charged with culpable homicide. 

Ajay’s brothers, Atul and Rajesh, also known as Tony, are also being sought for their role in the suspected fraud. An unnamed Chinese businessman and his wife are also believed to have fled South Africa.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Twitter yesterday: “We have bilateral (agreements) with other countries – those who are on the run will be sought after working with Interpol and other law enforcement agencies.”

In a TV interview with a news channel, Mbalula refused to confirm whether Duduzane is among the suspects.

Forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan’s organisation, Forensics for Justice, offered up to R500 000 for information leading to the arrest of any or all three of the Gupta brothers and Duduzane.

“These people have almost brought South Africa to its knees, it’s now time to bring them to justice. We are offering R100 000 for information leading to the arrest of each one of them and a bonus of R100 000 if the same informant gives information leading to the arrest of all four of them,” a statement on the organisation’s website reads.

The reward offer expired at midnight on Sunday.

At the weekend, billionaire Magda Wierzycka offered a R900 000 reward to bring the men to book.

Wierzycka said yesterday the reward for information relating to the whereabouts of the Gupta brothers and Duduzane is R500 000, but the information must lead to their arrest.

A total of R200 000 is being offered to the first bodyguard to notify authorities of the whereabouts of Ajay in particular, she said.
Another R200 000 is being offered to the first person to turn State witness in the Estina case.

“From what we know… these people are being sheltered by bodyguards, potentially other people who know where they are. It is also meant to be an incentive for those people to do the right thing and advise the authorities about where these individuals are. It could be a girlfriend or wife.”
She has received tip-offs, including information that the men were hiding in Lesotho, have been spotted in India or are on flights to Dubai.
“If any of these tip-offs are real, I will very happily pay the reward.”

She said the reward could increase as the case developed, and called on authorities to keep the public informed of progress in the case.
On social media, others have also pledged to increase the amount. Phiwa Nkambule, the co-founder and chief executive of Riovic, an insurance technology company, said he would top the existing reward with R400 000.

According to reports by the Hindustan Times, government officials confirmed the brothers enjoy “paid” Z-category security provided by the Uttarakhand government.

Originally from Saharanpur, the Gupta brothers own a plush bungalow in Dehradun’s posh Curzon Road area. Police personnel provide them security, besides guarding their mansion, during the Gupta family members’ occasional visits to the town.

Officials familiar with the issue told the Hindustan Times Ajay was in his Curzon Road mansion the day former president Jacob Zuma resigned following allegations of corruption.

A day later, he flew to an unknown destination in a helicopter, the person said, adding that the high-flying Gupta brothers rubbed shoulders with bigwigs of the Bharatiya Janata Party, one of the two major political parties in India.

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said yesterday authorities were doing everything in their power.

“We are using all resources at our disposal to make sure that we trace him. On Friday there was also mention by Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) that the suspect is not in the country. It is a matter that we are still going to look at between ourselves and Acsa.

“Any other matters that relates to why we’re looking for him, it’s issues that will remain confidential until such time we make it public. We have contacted his (Ajay) lawyers. Nothing has come forward as yet,” Mulaudzi said.

He added that the Hawks were not party to any reward being offered.

“These rewards are out there and anything that happens will be the responsibility of those people (offering the rewards). It should have been something that was discussed with us before they voluntarily made such rewards.”

Forensics for Justice can be reached on 0800 118 118. Call Crime Stop on 08600-10111 or SMS Crime Line 32211.