The wheels of justice may have started turning in the Gupta extradition case – but has South Africa hit its first speedbump? It has been revealed on Thursday that the process has ‘stalled’, due to a language barrier.
After orchestrating the state capture operation in South Africa, the Gupta brothers escaped to the UAE in 2018. They set-up shop in Dubai, hoping to ride out the storm they had created on our shores. It took four years, but earlier this month, SA’s extradition request was formally submitted.
Several government departments – including DIRCO and the Justice Ministry – have been working hard to get the Indian billionaires back here to face the music. But a failure to translate the documents from English to Arabic has now delayed the proceedings.
- South Africa only has 60 days from the Guptas’ arrest on 2 June 2022 to submit the formal extradition application.
- By the start of August 2022, the request has to be submitted in line with the extradition treaty agreed with the UAE.
- On 8 June, the Justice Department received a request from the NPA, for the provisional arrest of the Guptas.
- That was subsequently passed on to DIRCO, who revealed that the document would need to be translated into Arabic.
- The DA are now piling the pressure on the Justice Department to finalise this translation as soon as possible.
Government told to ‘get a move on’
Glynnis Breytenbach is Mzansi’s Shadow Minister for Justice. She has confirmed that the DA will reach out to their ANC counterparts, asking them to prioritise this translation. With our window of opportunity now ‘halfway closed’, time is very much of the essence.
“The DA will write to the Ministers of Justice, Ronald Lamola, and International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, to ask that the translation of the official extradition request of the Guptas into Arabic be done as a matter of urgency.”
“We urge the Justice Department and DIRCO to facilitate the translating of the official documentation without further delay, as a failure to do so could result in the derailment of the Gupta extradition. The crimes they are accused of are certainly not trivial”