Eight of 13 suspects arrested in state capture investigations

FEBRUARY 15, 2018. Lawyers arrive at the Bloemfontein Regional Court for appearance of five people who were arrested during Hawks raids on various Gupta compounds. The suspects were arrested in connection with investigations into the Free State Vrede dairy farm project.
FEBRUARY 15, 2018. Lawyers arrive at the Bloemfontein Regional Court for appearance of five people who were arrested during Hawks raids on various Gupta compounds. The suspects were arrested in connection with investigations into the Free State Vrede dairy farm project.
Image: ALON SKUY

Thirteen suspects have been served with warrants of arrest in relation to state capture investigations‚ a spokesperson said on Thursday.

Eight suspects were arrested on Wednesday during operations in Bloemfontein and Johannesburg‚ said Vuyo Mhaga‚ spokesperson for Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula.

Two suspects are still at large and three are believed to be outside South Africa.

The arrests are in connection with the Estina dairy project in Vrede in the Free State. About R220 million was allegedly stolen from the project. The project was meant to be a lifeline to indigent farmers but saw millions of rand allegedly siphoned off to the Guptas.

The arrests were made by the Directorate for Priority Investigations (Hawks).

“The investigations are still continuing and more arrests cannot be ruled out. I must appreciate the patience of the public in general for allowing the law enforcement agencies to do their work‚ these investigations naturally take a lot of time‚” Mbalula said.

“Due to the sensitivity and seriousness of these matters it is not possible for the DPCI or my office to provide minute to minute account of the state of capture related investigations but once again assure all that since mid-2017 at least 17 dockets are being investigated without fear or favor and indeed with no holy cows.”

Eight associates of the controversial Gupta family appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on February 15 2018.

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