US Sanctions Law Nails The Guptas

Former President Jacob Zuma is seen inside the Pietermaritzburg High Court during his hearing for an application for a permanent stay of prosecution

Zuma, in office from 2009-2018, had applied for a permanent stay of prosecution on 18 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to a deal to buy European military hardware for South Africa's armed forces in the 1990s.

South Africa has an extradition treaty with the Middle Eastern country.

Both Zuma and Thales have denied any wrongdoing, and the former president could still appeal the ruling, experts have suggested.

The country's main Opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) also welcomed the strong action taken by the U.S. to impose sanctions on the Gupta family and their associates for their alleged involvement in "State Capture" in South Africa.

After his election, his opponents fought a lengthy legal battle to have the charges reinstated, finally succeeding in 2016. Zuma, 77, claimed past year that he was so broke that he had to sell his socks to raise legal fees, after another court ruled he should front the bills.

Zuma is also set to continue is testimony before the Zondo commission either on October 21 to 25 just a week after his criminal trial or on November 11 to 15.

In his dramatic closing submissions Sikhakhane tore through the submissions made by the state and seized the moment to attempt to introduce new evidence in the form of a letter, which he argued proved political interference in Zuma's charges.

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The former president later ended his testimony, claiming he was being questioned unfairly.

Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta have been blacklisted, along with a South African associate, Salim Essa, after using political connections to "line their pockets with ill-gotten gains".

However, the DA's member of parliament (MP) Natasha Mazzone, revealed her party's disappointment that President Cyril Ramaphosa and the African National Congress (ANC) had failed to act "against a single individual that has been implicated in State Capture".

"Today's sanctions announcement demonstrates the United States government's unwavering commitment to supporting the rule of law and accountability in South Africa", the Treasury said.

Zuma has said the three Gupta brothers are his friends but he denies any influence-peddling in their relationship.

South African authorities must clamp down on the Gupta family, according to a message from across the world.

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