Gupta court ruling 'a serious blow' to the fight against organised crime: NPA

The court ruled that there was no reasonable basis for the state to hold on to the Gupta family assets that were seized during a raid on the Gupta Saxonwold compound.
The court ruled that there was no reasonable basis for the state to hold on to the Gupta family assets that were seized during a raid on the Gupta Saxonwold compound.
Image: YALO

The National Prosecuting Authority has lamented its court loss to the Guptas on Monday‚ saying it was a devastating blow to the fight against organised crime.

The High Court in Bloemfontein on Monday returned all of the Guptas’ and Gupta associates' assets related to the Estina diary farm case. The R250-million worth of assets‚ including cash‚ properties and high-end vehicles were said to be the proceeds of crime - but the court ruled there was not enough evidence to substantiate this allegation.

Reacting to the ruling‚ the NPA’s Luvuyo Mfaku said the state was “very surprised” by the decision.

“We never expected this kind of ruling. It is a serious blow to the fight against organised crime‚ because asset forfeiture processes exist to ensure that those implicated in such organised crime do not benefit financially.

“We will study the judgment‚ before we consider our legal options in response to it. But this is a serious setback‚" he said.

The Guptas and their associates scored a court victory on May 28 2018 when the High Court in Bloemfontein freed assets such as luxury cars, aircraft and properties seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit. Karyn Maughan explains how the court came to this decision.

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