Prosecuting authorities should pay his costs, says Atul Gupta
Gupta’s court documents were signed and stamped in Dubai
By: Amogelang Mbatha and Renee Bonorchis
Atul Gupta, one of three brothers accused of swindling money from South African state funds, said in court documents that cash meant for the development of a dairy farm in Free State province wasn’t transferred to his private bank accounts.
South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority should pay the costs of his application, said Gupta, who isn’t in South Africa and had the documents stamped in Dubai on Feb. 8. Prosecutors have misled the court by wrongly alleging that 10 million rand ($855,000) was transferred to his accounts, the evidence behind the accusation is sketchy and previous court orders should be set aside, Gupta said in the documents.
The Guptas are friends of former President Jacob Zuma and have done business with his son Duduzane. One of the family’s alleged scams involved leasing a dairy farm on state land and redistributing the 220 million rand of government funds, earmarked for the development of the farm, into their accounts and those of various of their companies. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.
Eight people accused in the dairy farm case were granted bail last week. Atul Gupta and his brothers weren’t among those arrested. Ajay, one of the siblings, was seen leaving the country, bound for Dubai, on Feb. 6, and was spotted in India last week, according to the Times of India. South African police have declared him a fugitive from justice.
While police have discouraged the practice, Magda Wierzycka, head of Cape Town-based Sygnia Asset Management, has offered 500,000 rand of her personal money to anyone who has information that leads to the location of Ajay before the end of this month.