Lamola welcomes UK's sanctions against Guptas

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Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.
GCIS
  • Justice Minister Ronald Lamola welcomed the UK's sanctions against the Guptas and their associate Salim Essa.
  • The UK placed Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, and Essa on a Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime.
  • Lamola hopes other countries will also join the fight against corruption.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola welcomed the UK imposing sanctions on the Guptas and expressed his hope that other countries will also join in a concerted effort to root out corruption.

On Monday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that the UK is imposing sanctions on Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, and their associate Salim Essa for their roles in "a persistent pattern of corruption in South Africa which caused significant damage" to the South African economy and its people.

In a statement, Lamola on Wednesday welcomed the UK's assistance to South Africa in taking action against people accused of having committed fraud and corruption in South Africa.

READ | UK imposes sanctions against Guptas, Salim Essa as part of global anti-corruption regime

"In particular, the arrest of Michael Lomas in London in connection with the Kusile fraud and corruption case as well as the imposition of very strict bail conditions in his case is to be welcomed," reads the statement.

"Mutual international cooperation goes a long way in the fight against corruption. Often inaction by international actors on matters of corruption may inadvertently aid individuals who are suspected of malfeasance and corruption to evade justice in one jurisdiction by finding refuge in another."

Relations

He said this kind of cooperation showed that the UK valued its bilateral relations with South Africa.

The UK government added 22 to its Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regime. This included Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, and their associate Salim Essa.

"In the interest of international cooperation in the fight against corruption, we look forward to other jurisdictions acting in concert with the actions of United Kingdom to strengthen existing efforts in the fight against corruption on a global front," the statement said.

"This action taken by the United Kingdom and its justice system affirms that mutual international cooperation is essential. The fight against corruption will only succeed if both domestic and international frameworks are implemented and if corrupt individuals and companies, as well as those who help them, are aggressively pursued across the globe," said Lamola.

Due to multi-national financial flows, many state capture investigations were complex and required mutual legal assistance.

In October last year, the head of the National Prosecuting Authority's Investigating Directorate, Hermione Cronje, told the Portfolio Committee on Justice that securing mutual legal assistance from the United Arab Emirates is one of the impediments in bringing the Guptas to book.

"We have other tricks up our sleeves, and you will soon see that," Cronje said at the time.

In March, she told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that they were "close to pulling together all the strands" in Transnet's allegedly corrupt purchase of 1 064 locomotives, involving Essa.  

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