Action SA leader Herman Mashaba has urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to use his trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to negotiate the extradition of the Gupta brothers.
Ramaphosa touched down at the Al Maktoum International Airport in the UAE on Sunday where he will lead the celebration of South Africa Day at the Dubai Expo 2020 on Monday.
The president is accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan and the Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel, among other ministers.
South Africa’s participation at the Dubai Expo invites visitors to “Think Opportunity. Think South Africa.”
Ramaphosa will also meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
Mashaba tweeted that Ramaphosa should use the trip more constructively.
“For this trip to be beneficial to the South African people, let President @PresidencyZA use the opportunity to engage the leadership of Dubai for the extradition of the Guptas. This family has committed one of the biggest heist in South Africa.”
The Guptas fled South Africa in 2018 soon after their ally, then president Jacob Zuma, was recalled. The brothers are believed to be in Dubai.
Earlier this month, the department of justice and correctional services said the ball is now in the UAE’s court to extradite Atul and Rajesh Gupta to South Africa to face fraud charges.
Spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said the process had to be preceded by a confirmation by Abu Dhabi if the brothers were in the country and, if they were, Pretoria’s request for their extradition would be processed.
South Africa and the UAE are signatories to Article 44 of United Nations Convention Against Corruption and South Africa ratified the convention in 2004.
UAE’s ambassador to SA Mahash Alhameli late last year said the Agreements on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Extradition between SA and his country were signed in 2018.