The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has seized R19,669,000 from the Gupta brothers’ Sahara Computers, which closed down in 2018 at the height of state capture and corruption allegations against the controversial family.
The forfeiture was gazetted by Sarb deputy governor Kuben Naidoo on Wednesday and the funds were to be deposited directly into the National Revenue Fund.
Sahara Computers and two of its sister companies in the IT sector, Annex Distribution and Sahara Systems, closed down in 2018.
The IT company was one of the main cogs in the Guptas’ South African operations and its office part in Midrand, Johannesburg, was subsequently put on the market for R50 million.
The Gupta brothers – Ajay, Atul, and Rajesh – have been accused of wholesale corruption involving state-owned entities due to their close relationship with former president Jacob Zuma. They left South Africa in April 2016 and are considered fugitives from the law.
The Gazette Notice 169 of 2021 – Notice and Order of Forfeiture:
Last week, Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) plans to appeal to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – where the Guptas are based – as signatories of the UN’s convention against corruption, as a last resort to get them to extradite the brothers to South Africa.
Lamola said the NPA had exhausted all avenues and met with resistance from an uncooperative UAE. The last hope therefore was the UN.
“We have not really received very good cooperation in this regard. So the NPA is exploring other means through the UN convention against corruption.”