18/02/2018 09:11 SAST | Updated 18/02/2018 10:14 SAST

Rewards Offered As Search For Ajay Gupta Continues

Up to R1-million.

Indian businessman, Ajay Gupta.
Gallo Images via Getty Images
Indian businessman, Ajay Gupta.

The hunt for Ajay Gupta, who has officially been declared a fugitive from justice, is heating up, with more rewards for his arrest being offered.

Forensic consultant Paul O'Sullivan's organisation, Forensics for Justice, on Thursday afternoon said it was offering a R100 000 reward "for any person that gives information that leads to the arrest of Ajay Gupta within the next 48 hours".

O'Sullivan put out an additional R100 000 reward leading to the arrest of Ajay's brothers Atul and Rajesh, also known as Tony, as well as Duduzane Zuma, with an additional R100 000 bonus if all four were arrested.

O'Sullivan's reward expires on Saturday at 18:00.

READ: Where In The World Is Ajay Gupta?

In a tweet on Saturday morning, Magda Wierzycka, CEO of the Sygnia Group, said she was prepared to match O'Sullivan's reward "rand for rand", taking the total reward up to a million.

"I am willing to match the reward Rand for Rand. So now we have R1 million in the pool. South Africans, contribute your spy skills. We need these crooks in jail where they belong. As soon as possible," she tweeted.

Wierzycka went on to post additional rewards, offering R200 000 "for the first bodyguard, currently with Ajay Gupta who calls CrimeStop on 08600 10111 to advise of his location".

This follows after Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, in an interview with Power FM, confirmed that investigators were still in negotiations with a security company "protecting" Ajay.

Wierzycka also offered a R200 000 reward for the first accused in the Vrede Dairy Farm case, who had already appeared in court, to turn state witness.

Asked on twitter if she did not think her money could be put to better use, Wierzycka said, "The sooner we catch and convict them, the sooner we can recover R50bn plus. That will go much further in rebuilding SA..."

Meanwhile, Netwerk24 have reported that reports circulating on social media, which allege that Ajay was seen crossing the border into Lesotho, are just rumours.

O'Sullivan told Netwerk24 that since posting the reward he has been inundated with calls saying Ajay was here, there and everywhere.

He said Forensics for Justice had a team of six people working around the clock, dedicated to following up on leads on Ajay's whereabouts.

He said there was no indication that Ajay may be in Lesotho.

"I believe he is still in South Africa," he said.

Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, has not been impressed with the rewards being offered, reported eNCA.

"South Africa is not a wild wild west. Should police decide that a reward is warranted on the matter, such determination will be made professionally with all security considerations taken," Mbalula said.