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Ajay Gupta, Free State government official arrested – Saftu

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Ajay Gupta, Free State government official arrested – Saftu

Ajay Gupta

14th February 2018

By: African News Agency

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Ajay Gupta is one of the three people arrested by the Directorate on Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) during multiple raids on Wednesday, union federation the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) said on Wednesday.

"Saftu welcomes the Hawks' raid on the Gupta compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, this morning. The arrest of Ajay Gupta, and the simultaneous arrest of former head of the Free State Agriculture Department, Peter Thabethe, in connection with the investigation into the Vrede dairy farm scandal," the federation said in a statement.

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"This is a further victory for Saftu and all the other organisations who have been demanding this sort of serious action for a long time. It gives us hope that there is now a serious drive to prosecute those allegedly involved in corruption and the looting of public money."

Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi would not confirm the names of those arrested. He said the investigation and Hawks operations at various premises continued.

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Some of the R200-million in funds meant for emerging black farmers at the Estina diary project in the Free State allegedly flowed into the banks accounts of the Gupta family. Some of the money was allegedly used to pay for a lavish family wedding at Sun City in 2013.

The Guptas have a close relationship with President Jacob Zuma and his family. They are accused of using undue influence to secure lucrative contracts with state-owned enterprises.

The family and their associates are being investigated by multiple law enforcement agencies who are hunting for more than R50-billion allegedly looted from state-owned enterprises.

Following a damning report by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and a trail of leaked emails detailing the extent of the alleged corruption, Zuma came under pressure to set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the allegations.

This week, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) informed the scandal-ridden Zuma that he was being recalled from the presidency after nearly nine years in power.

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