Justice Minister Ronald Lamola is confident that the red alert issued by Interpol will flush out the Guptas from wherever they are
JUSTICE Minister Ronald Lamola assured the South African Law Society today that the controversial Gupta brothers, who are accused of influencing state capture, will be brought back to the country.
Lamola, who addressed the society’s annual conference and annual general meeting (AGM) held in Johannesburg, was asked about when the Guptas would be arrested.
Rajesh and Ajay Gupta have been charged for multi-million rand fraud and money laundering and have fled the country.
Last month, Interpol, an organisation that facilitates worldwide police cooperation and crime control, issued a red alert for the brothers. This followed a treaty that was signed between South Africa (SA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), allowing for the extradition of the Guptas, who were believed to be living there.
Interpol’s red alert meant that if the Guptas were found in any of its 194 member states, including the UAE, they could be extradited to SA.
Addressing members of the law society, Lamola said the justice ministry had to be certain of the Guptas whereabouts.
“So we can send the extradition request to that country. With the red notice from Interpol, they can be arrested in whichever country they are, that is a member of Interpol.
“It has been public knowledge that they are in the UAE, but people travel from time to time, so when you make an extradition request, you must know with certainty. We are hopeful that this process with Interpol will help us. But we also want to be clear to the people of this country that extraditions in their nature are sometimes protracted, where the party that is being extradited might want to challenge certain aspects, there will be technicalities and so forth.
“But we are going to follow through with all the necessary legal processes and while we are still here, will do everything possible (to make sure) that all the legal processes are followed so that one day, they come back to this country to account for their sins,“ said Lamola.
“They will come back, but as to when, I would be lying if I said tomorrow morning because of the protracted nature of the extradition processes. The only thing I can commit is that we are going to follow through all the legal processes as we are doing to ensure that they come back, and they will definitely come back.
“Even if I’m not here, the next minister will not be able to reverse the processes that we have already started, like agreements and extraditions requests. There will have to be rational grounds to reverse that,” said Lamola.