Tuesday, June 07, 2022

South Africa's Corruption Arrests

 Atul and Rajesh Gupta from the wealthy Gupta family have been arrested in the United Arab Emirates and are accused in South Africa of profiting from their close links with former president Jacob Zuma and exerting unfair influence. A four-year investigation later published by the country's top judge concluded that the wealthy brothers had become deeply embedded in the highest levels of government and Zuma's ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

They are accused of paying financial bribes in order to win lucrative state contracts and influence powerful government appointments.

Many of the most serious corruption allegations levelled against the Indian-born brothers focus on their relationship with Jacob Zuma, who was president of South Africa from 2009 until he was forced to step down amid a storm of corruption allegations nine years later.

One of Zuma's wives, as well as a son and daughter, had positions working in senior roles for Gupta-controlled companies.

Many of the companies in the Gupta portfolio profited from lucrative contracts with government departments and state-owned corporations - where public officials say they were directly instructed by the family to take decisions that would advance the brothers' business interests.

It is alleged that compliance was rewarded with money and promotion, while disobedience was punished with dismissal.

The list of public bodies accused of having been "captured" is extensive - the ministries of finance, natural resources and public enterprises, as well as agencies responsible for tax collection and communications, the state broadcaster SABC, the national carrier, South African Airways, the state-owned rail-freight operator and the energy giant Eskom - one of the largest utility companies on the planet. 

Reports published this year by investigators accuse the brothers of being linked to racketeering activity through the procurement of rail, ports and pipeline infrastructure. Its authors also concluded that  Zuma "would do  anything that the Guptas wanted him to do for them".

South Africa: Wealthy Gupta brothers arrested in UAE - BBC News

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