Guptagate: could criminal charges for corruption follow?

By Almari Wessels
17 March 2016

South Africans stand aghast after the revelation of two ANC heavyweights this week that they’d been offered cabinet posts in return for political favours to the politically influential Gupta family – but could such apparent corruption result in criminal prosecution?

“If people were offered posts in return for political favours to the Guptas it’s corrupt practice in terms of the law,” constitutional expert Professor Pierre de Vos explains. “Everyone involved and whoever sanctioned it could be convicted of corruption.”

The Guptas will flee South Africa like President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan before they can be prosecuted, human rights activist and head Impumulelo (Stellenbosch Academy for Social Innovation) Rhoda Kadalie said. “They’ve got too many people in their pockets,” she added.

The success of any corruption prosecution would depend on how solid the evidence are against those implicated, explains Professor Daryl Glaser, political studies head at Wits.

He adds that the Hawks “basically have been protecting” President Jacob Zuma up till now and wonders what could make their determination falter.

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