Sun, 24 Mar 2019

Ajay Gupta, one of the brothers who forms part of the infamous family at the centre of state capture allegations, is no longer a fugitive from justice in South Africa after a warrant for his arrest was cancelled.

Gupta was wanted for corruption.

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas accused Gupta and Duduzane Zuma - the former president's son - of offering him a R600m bribe and the position of finance minister before Nhlanhla Nene was removed.

On Thursday night, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the cancellation of the warrant for Gupta's arrest was an inevitable legal consequence of the provisional withdrawal of charges against Zuma in January.

Read more: Corruption charges against Duduzane Zuma withdrawn

Mulaudzi added that state capture investigations were ongoing.

In February last year he was officially declared a fugitive from justice.

At a stage, Mulaudzi told News24:"We have reason to believe he (Ajay) is still in the country."

City Press reported on February 11, 2018 that Gupta was spotted at Optimum Coal Mine in Mpumalanga on February 6, 2018.

The publication claimed Gupta landed in a helicopter at the mine with Ronica Ragavan, the chief executive of the Guptas' holding company Oakbay Investments, who was arrested by the Hawks during raids at Gupta properties. The publication reported that the two arrived with bodyguards and a contingent of people.

Forensic consultant Paul O'Sullivan's Forensics for Justice also offered a R100 000 reward "for any person that gives information that leads to the arrest of Ajay Gupta." Members of the public were urged to give anonymous tip-offs about Gupta's whereabouts.

Then, in April last year, South African businessman Justin van Pletzen filmed a relaxed Gupta in Dubai asking when he was going to visit South Africa.

Gupta responded that South African authorities had not given him "a reply". "The day they give a reply, I'll go there," he could be heard saying.

Despite Gupta's friendly and jovial demeanour in his exchange with Van Pletzen, it was revealed that he later opened an invasion of privacy case against Van Pletzen, who was detained.

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