Legislation News South Africa

Justice department gives Gupta brothers extradition update

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services is engaging with its counterparts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in South Africa's extradition request of the Gupta brothers, Atul and Rajesh.
Source: Unsplash

The two are wanted in South Africa on charges including fraud and money laundering related to State Capture.

In April this year, the UAE rejected South Africa’s extradition request for the brothers, which the department described then as “inconsistent with article 17 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, to which both nations are a signatory”.

In a statement, the department said it has now been requested to resubmit a new extradition request.

“On 26 July 2023, the South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi forwarded a Note Verbale dated 25 July 2023, as received from the UAE Central Authority in which… South Africa is requested to urgently resubmit a new extradition request for the Gupta brothers.

“It is, however, our view that a new extradition request can only be submitted to the UAE once the questions raised in our Note Verbale dated 19 June 2023, have been sufficiently answered by the UAE

“On 18 and 28 August 2023, respectively the Minister and Director-General directed letters to their counterparts in the UAE stating South Africa’s position that despite the UAE’s invitation to submit a new extradition request, it remains necessary to first obtain clarity on the questions asked previously by the Central Authority of South Africa in order to assess the matter before a decision can be taken to submit a new extradition request,” the statement read.

The department added that it has not yet received a response to the correspondence with the South African Embassy in Abu Dhabi “following-up in this regard”.

Fugitive prophet

In the extradition case against controversial pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary Bushiri, the department said the matter – which is being heard in a Malawian court where the two fled to – has been postponed to October.

“On 30 May 2023, the matter was postponed due to arguments raised on behalf of the Bushiris that South Africa’s extradition request was not properly authenticated. The South African prosecutors prepared arguments to assist the Malawian prosecutors with the filing of supplementary affidavits for purposes of the interim application where the legal team of the Bushiris is again trying to stop the extradition processes.

“On 10 August 2023, the formal application brought by the Bushiris was argued in court and thereafter postponed to 11 September 2023, for a ruling by the court. On 11 September 2023, the Magistrate gave judgment during which she indicated that the extradition request was in fact not certified in terms of the Malawi’s Extradition Act.

“The State however was afforded an opportunity to re-certify the request. The matter has been postponed to 10 October 2023, on which date state representatives will give testimony,” the statement read.

Criminal tribunal request

The department said a request by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) related to alleged Rwanda genocide killer Fulgence Kayishema to stand trial overseas has been transferred to the High Court for hearing.

“The request cannot be executed as a normal extradition request under the Extradition Act, 1962 (Act No. 67 of 1962), or in accordance with the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002 (Act No. 27 of 2002), as requests from tribunals do not fall within the ambit of this legislation.

“The position is that there is no domestic legislative framework to deal with the mechanism’s request. The request is being dealt with in accordance with South Africa’s international law obligations.

“The matter was transferred to the High Court and has been set down for hearing on 1 November 2023. It is worth noting that along with the IRMCT request Mr Kayishema is also being charged with 51 counts of contravening the Immigration Act, 2002 (Act No. 13 of 2002), and three counts of fraud,” the department said.

Source: SAnews.gov.za

SAnews.gov.za is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). SAnews.gov.za (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.

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