NEWS & ANALYSIS

Vrede Dairy Farm: NPA must move to arrest Guptas – Glynnis Breytenbach

DA MP says if there is enough evidence to seize assets, there must be enough to hold implicated criminally liable

NPA must move with haste to arrest Gupta Family members and those responsible for Vrede scandal

23 January 2018

The DA welcomes the announcement over the weekend that the Asset Forfeiture Unit had seized the Vrede dairy farm that was at the centre of the Gupta-wedding money laundering chain. We further welcome the news that there are plans afoot to have the bank accounts of Atul Gupta frozen.

This is however not enough – we believe that those involved should be charged in a court of law at the earliest opportunity. If there is enough evidence to seize assets, there surely must be enough to hold those implicated criminally liable.

Last year, my colleague DA Shadow Minister of Finance David Maynier MP and I laid formal complaints about the Vrede Dairy Farm with the South African Police Service. We will request meetings with the investigating officers as we will not rest until all who are implicated face consequences for their actions.

The DA also gathered enough evidence to put together an indictment, which we handed over to the Hawks on 24 August 2017, but we have yet to receive feedback regarding this. The National Prosecuting Authority(NPA) head, Shaun Abrahams, must now brief the nation on when they expect to make arrests in this and other state capture related matters.

Our democracy is founded on the rule of law and the public therefore needs to be confident that nobody is above the law and that heads will roll. If the NPA is truly committed to achieving justice for the people of Vrede who have been most affected by this corrupt scheme then Abrahams has to act without further delay. Anything less than this will cast a further blight on the NPA’s willingness and ability to deal with corruption where members of the ANC and their cronies are implicated. The time has come for Abrahams to put the people of South Africa first.

Issued by Glynnis Breytenbach, DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, 23 January 2018