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SA govt officials connected to the Guptas not immune from US sanctions

This comes after the US imposed sanctions on Gupta brothers and Salim Essa for their involvement in corruption in this country.

A screengrab of Atul Gupta. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The United States (US) government says it will not hesitate to act against south African government officials who have been found to be involved in corrupt networks.

This comes after the US imposed sanctions on Gupta brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh – and their associate businessman Salim Essa – for their involvement in corruption in this country.

The Guptas have been accused of benefiting from the looting of state-owned enterprises in the country with the help of former President Jacob Zuma and his son, Duduzane.

US secretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence Sigal Mandelkar says they have seen in their investigations that going after individual accused of corruption and their companies has achieved results.

“Not only does it cut off their ability to access the financial system in wide regard, not only does it block their assets – but it shows to those facilitators and government officials that they are often working with that there are real and serious costs to continuing to engage in such behaviour.”

She says they will also not hesitate to go after companies who are facilitating corrupt activities.

Mandelkar says the sanctions demonstrates the US government’s unwavering commitment to supporting the rule of law and accountability in South Africa.

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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