Hawks went back and forth with Ajay Gupta lawyer – Mbalula

South African law enforcement agencies are closing the net on Ajay Gupta and others accused of corruption in the Estina dairy farm project in Vrede, the police minister has said.

Police minister Fikile Mbabula, in an interview with SABC TV said that a back and forth with Gupta’s lawyer led to the red alert on the Indian national.

“Ajay Gupta is one of the five being sought. The Hawks approached his lawyers. They have been playing cat and mouse going back and forth. You don’t do that with the law.”

Mbalula said of the 13 suspects in the Estina Farm Project, eight had been arrested in the Free State and Johannesburg.

READ MORE: Fugitive Ajay Gupta still in the country – Hawks

He said police were working with Interpol and believed suspects were in China, Dubai and India.

“Nothing says they escaped. They left of their own business or whatever the case. The world is very small. We interact with Interpol. All means necessary are being employed so that these people come to book. Lots of money disappeared. That is the money for the poor and the money of the taxpayer.”

He added: “There are no untouchables. If ever you are found to have something to do like that, you must come to book.”

Speaking on former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzani, Mbalula said he could not confirm if a warrant of arrest was out for him.

“I cannot confirm warrant of arrest and whether he is being sought. In terms of the prescript of the law, an individual will be sought and only upon they appear in court can they be named. If he is being searched, I am not at liberty to say. I am not privileged to answer that question.”

The arrests came after the search and seizure operations executed by the Hawks at the Agriculture Department and the offices of the Premier Ace Magashule.

Speaking on Magashule, Mbalula said there were no issues into anyone being investigated.

“We do not want to portray this as a target. When police arrested people in KZN they said we had targets. We said no, police must do their job. We are investigating and arresting, that is all.”

When asked if he believed former president Jacob Zuma should be charged he said: “That is for the institutions of government to decide.” — News 24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Kaveel Singh
Kaveel Singh
News 24 Journalist.

Related stories

The Zondo commission of evasion

Obfuscation, non sequiturs, outright lies, senseless babble, curry breaks — and we’re paying for it all

President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the nation next week

The national coronavirus command council will meet next week to discuss ways it can clamp down on the increasing Covid-19 infections. This is after the cabinet met this week to express its concerns

Mbalula’s war with military vets belies the Prasa disaster

The transport minister uses humour, which his targets don’t find funny, to survive in tough times or to divert attention from a problem.

Citizens tired of being played for a fool

The use of a South African Air Force jet by ANC officials without the minister following the required procedures is one such case — and more questions arise on examination of that case

Fikile has a daring plan for taxis

The transport minister presented to the ANC’s top body a proposal to establish a bank for taxi operators and to subsidise the industry

Editorial: ANC, stop hurting our country

The ANC either does not understand the best interests of those it was elected to serve — or it knows and doesn’t care

Subscribers only

FNB dragged into bribery claims

Allegations of bribery against the bank’s chief executive, Jacques Celliers, thrown up in a separate court case

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

More top stories

North West premier goes off the rails

Supra Mahumapelo ally Job Mokgoro’s defiance of party orders exposes further rifts in the ANC

Construction sites are a ‘death trap’

Four children died at Pretoria sites in just two weeks, but companies deny they’re to blame

Why the Big Fish escape the justice net

The small fish get caught. Jails are used to control the poor and disorderly and deflect attention from the crimes of the rich and powerful.

Koko claims bias before Zondo commission

In a lawyer’s letter, the former Eskom chief executive says the commission is not being fair to him

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…