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Lamola welcomes US govt's sanctions on Guptas, Salim Essa

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola's spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said that the sanctions were the result of collaborative action between South Africa and the United States.

FILE: Ajay Gupta. Credit: YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has welcomed the action taken by the United States government to place sanctions on members of the Gupta family.

The US government has prohibited Gupta brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta from doing business with the US or any US nationals.

The country's Treasury has also announced that Salim Essa has been sanctioned for involvement in alleged corruption in South Africa.

Lamola's spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said that this was the result of collaborative action between South Africa and the United States.

"It is of critical importance that our young democracy confronts corruption and its antecedent effects expeditiously. We welcome the collaborative efforts by the USA in the government's fight against corruption. The interests of justice must not be shackled by any boundary or border."

SIGNIFICANT CORRUPTION NETWORK

The US Treasury office of foreign assets control described the Gupta family's business practices in South Africa as a significant corruption network.

They have been blacklisted for alleged overpayment of government contracts, bribery, and other corrupt acts to "fund political contributions and influence government actions".

The US said the sanctions demonstrated that country's unwavering commitment to supporting the rule of law and accountability.

Acting US Ambassador to South Africa David Young: "The United States today imposed financial sanctions and travel restrictions on the three Gupta brothers and Salim Essa. What this means practically [is that] the four individuals are prohibited from travelling to the United States, the United States government can now seize any of their property that's held in the United States."

The controversial Gupta family left the country under a cloud after being accused of being architects of state capture during President Jacob Zuma's tenure.

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