Extradition treaty: SA criminals can run but can't hide, at least not in the UAE

South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) concluded their finalisation and ratification of the treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance between South Africa and the UAE.

FILE: Justice Minister Ronald Lamola at an inter-ministerial briefing on the coronavirus in Pretoria on 13 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/Eyewitness News

CAPE TOWN – Corrupt individuals and criminals will soon face the law and will have to answer for crimes committed in South Africa.

This comes after South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) concluded their finalisation and ratification of the treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance between South Africa and the UAE.

These treaties are expected to allow for greater cooperation between the two countries on legal matters and assist in the investigation and prosecution of crimes.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Roland Lamola on Friday said: “The treaties will come into force 30 days after the ratification of instruments have been exchanged, which is 10 July 2021. The applicable legal instruments... it is common cause that South Africa has persons of interest who frequent the UAE and are believed to be in the UAE.”

READ: SA extradition treaty with UAE to come into effect on 10 July - Lamola

Lamola said this treaty would help with the fight against corruption.

“Such states affirmed that corruption is no longer a local matter, but a transnational phenomenon that affects all societies and economies; making international cooperation to prevent and control is essential, irrespective of the fact that both South Africa and the UAE ratified this convention.”

He said both nations had affirmed their cooperation.

“In our bilateral meeting, the ambassador of the UAE reaffirmed that our treaties are only held together by cooperation. We have reassured our counterparts that while we welcome the ratification of the treaties, our expectations are yet to be fulfilled, and this is a critical component of the relationships.”

WATCH: SA-UAE extradition treaty paves way for Guptas to face criminal charges

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.