South African law enforcement agencies have issued mutual legal assistance requests to eight countries around the world, including the US. This was revealed by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola on Thursday after it was announced that they have imposed sanctions on the controversial Gupta brothers and fellow businessman Salim Essa.A statement issued on Thursday by the US Department of State said the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control had "designated Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta, and Salim Essa for their involvement in corruption in South Africa pursuant to executive order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act".It added that any property or interest in property of those designated within US jurisdiction was blocked. Lamola said his department had taken note of the US' recent action. READ: US blacklists Gupta family over filling their pockets with ill-gotten gains"Sanctions have a direct impact on the financial and private interests of affected individuals. Furthermore, these sanctions will ensure that companies or individuals are prohibited from conducting any business in the US or with any American company worldwide."Lamola added that the two countries have a long history of co-operation on criminal justice, law enforcement and mutual legal assistance."Both countries are state parties to the UN Convention against Corruption and have a bilateral treaty. These international multilateral and bilateral frameworks allow law enforcement agencies of both countries to collaborate on matters of common interest like fighting corruption and ensuring that perpetrators of corruption have nowhere to hide."Justice Minister Ronald Lamola. (Sarel van der Walt, Netwerk24) Lamola said in the context of this international and domestic legal framework, South Africa and the US have enjoyed close collaboration on matters of mutual legal assistance."Under the umbrella of the International Co-operation in Criminal Matters Act, South African law enforcement agencies have issued mutual legal assistance requests to eight countries around the world, including the United States of America."He has vowed to ensure that these requests would be expedited."It is of critical importance that our young democracy confronts corruption and its antecedent effects expeditiously. I welcome the collaborative efforts by the US government in the country's fight against corruption. The interest of justice must not be shackled by any boundary or border and justice must be seen to be done without fear or favour," said Lamola.