Hermione Cronje: We still aim to bring Gupta brothers to book

The Gupta brothers are heavily implicated in state capture and are believed to be living in Dubai.

FILE: Hermione Cronje. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

CAPE TOWN – The head of the NPA’s investigative directorate said a failure by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to cooperate with South African law enforcement agencies did not mean the Gupta brothers would not eventually be brought to book.

The Gupta brothers are heavily implicated in state capture and are believed to be living in Dubai.

Hermione Cronje was responding to questions from members of Parliament’s justice committee during a briefing by the NPA on its performance to date since new head Shamila Batohi took office last year.

Cronje told Parliament that trying to get help from the UAE had been a frustrating experience.

Cronje was asked whether the UAE’s failure to cooperate on mutual legal assistance meant that the ability of the NPA and the police to proceed against the Gupta brothers would depend on their voluntarily returning to South Africa.

Cronje had this to say: “Does that mean there won’t be accountability? The answer is no. It will take longer, but the member is right to say there are other ways to skin this cat – and yes, it is true that the US has jurisdiction over all dollar transactions and those are certainly avenues that we’ve explored.

“There are also other tricks that we have up our sleeves and you will shortly be seeing that.

“But it has been a frustrating experience trying to get the cooperation from the UAE and we have put that on the table.”

Cronje said the NPA’s jurisdiction ended at the country’s borders and it must rely on the Justice Department to request help from foreign law enforcement agencies in terms of evidence, the repatriation of funds and the extradition of accused persons.

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