Hawks: We aren’t politically influenced, Ajay Gupta warrant still active

Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata. Picture: Lisa Hnatowicz
Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata. Picture: Lisa Hnatowicz

The acting head of the Hawks, Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata, has insisted that there has been no political influence on her unit’s investigations into state capture.

Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria on Friday, Matakata told journalists that the Hawks completed the “first phase” of their investigation into the failed dairy project in Vrede, run by Gupta-linked company Estina, in November.

The docket, she said, was then presented to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Matakata’s comments follow widespread criticism that the Hawks were only now acting against former president Jacob Zuma’s friends, the Gupta family, and other alleged players in state capture, after President Cyril Ramaphosa was elected to the ANC presidency in December.

However, she said that their investigation was finalised long before that. She also said she wanted to assure the nation that the Hawks’ investigation was not influenced by any political developments.

Matakata also thanked her team of investigators for a job well done.

She also said that officers working on the Estina matter had “obtained statements from the intended beneficiaries” of the Vrede dairy project.

She also clarified the wanted status of elder Gupta brother, Ajay, whom she said was not wanted in connection with the Estina matter but in connection with “an unrelated corruption-related matter”.

“We are in communication with his lawyers and his arrest warrant remains active until he is arrested,” she said.

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