It’s been a great week for the fight against corruption. The Gupta network of shady deals has been dealt a big blow, with the U.S. government hitting the family with financial sanctions that freeze all their U.S. assets. Those blacklisted are the Gupta brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta, and associate Salim Essa. “The Gupta family leveraged its political connections to engage in widespread corruption and bribery, capture government contracts, and misappropriate state assets,” said Sigal Mandelker, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “The Gupta family leveraged its political connections to engage in widespread corruption and bribery, capture government contracts and misappropriate state assets. We support the anti-corruption efforts of South Africa’s independent judiciary, law enforcement agencies, and the ongoing judicial commissions of inquiry. Moreover, we commend the extraordinary work by South Africa’s civil society activists, investigative journalists and whistle-blowers who have exposed the Gupta family’s corruption. The U.S. financial system (will) continue to exclude those who profit from corruption.”
The Guptas and Salim Essa fall foul of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. This honours Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in suspicious circumstances in a Russian prison while fighting corruption. Essa and the Guptas are now part of a global cast of nasty characters targeted by the same law. This includes 17 Saudi officials implicated in the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Kashoggi in Istanbul’s Saudi consulate in 2018. At least 6 other Western countries have adopted their own versions of the Global Magnitsky Act, imposing travel bans and financial sanctions on foreign human rights violators. Other countries are considering doing the same. For more info, go to https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-10-11-guptas-join-a-cast-of-international-villains-ensnared-by-us-sanction-law/
So 2 big questions remain: When will the U.S. sanction Jacob Zuma and his family? And when will South Africa prosecute the Zumas and the Guptas, and put them in jail?
These latest sanctions from the U.S. are a big step in the right direction, because they’ll hit the Guptas where it hurts. But, until the Zuma- and Gupta clique are behind bars, there is a lot of work still to be done. Read more at https://www.2oceansvibe.com/2019/10/11/us-sanctions-law-nails-the-guptas/