29/01/2018 05:51 SAST | Updated 29/01/2018 05:51 SAST

NPA Denies Gupta, Zwane Arrests Imminent

Evidence was still being collected, says NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku.

Mosebenzi Zwane, South African Minister of Mineral Resources, speaks on the first day of the Mining Indaba 2017 Conference on February 6, 2017, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town.

The National Prosecuting Authority on Sunday denied a newspaper report that there is a finalised indictment of charges of money laundering against Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane and members of the Gupta family.

"There is no finalised indictment... the investigation is not fully completed," said NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku.

He said evidence was still being collected – and therefore, the completion of charges could not be possible at this stage.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that it does not discuss on-going investigations.

The Sunday Times reported that Zwane, along with Atul, Rajesh and Ajay Gupta were due to be charged with money laundering in a matter of weeks.

The Hawks are currently investigating allegations of R220 million in fraud in connection with a dairy project in Vrede in the Free State which was meant to empower small black farmers.

Last week, it was revealed that the Krynaauws Lust farm, near Vrede, was placed under the curatorship of NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU).

The Free State agricultural department – under then MEC Mosebenzi Zwane – allegedly paid R220m to the Guptas in what the AFU calls a "scheme designed to defraud and steal monies from the department".

One hundred black emerging farmers were promised five cows each as part of the empowerment scheme, but they never received them.

Gifted to the Gupta-linked Estina in 2013 under a free 99-year lease by the provincial agriculture department, the farm has been one of the most scandalous transactions between the Guptas and a government entity.

The #GuptaLeaks revealed last year how at least R30m paid to the Guptas via the farm ended up funding the family's lavish Sun City wedding in 2013.

On Friday, the office of Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the provincial office of the Department of Agriculture were raided by the Hawks.

-- News24