NEWS
05/06/2018 13:06 SAST | Updated 05/06/2018 13:40 SAST

Status Update: NPA Remains 'Confident' Of R169-Million Gupta Money Freeze

Despite two embarrassing court judgments related to the Gupta family, the NPA remains hopeful.

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters
Head of the National Prosecuting Authority, Shaun Abrahams.

The national prosecuting authority (NPA) has since the beginning of this year, faced two embarrassing court judgements in which the controversial Gupta family has managed to block moves to have any funds allegedly acquired from state capture recovered.

In March, the Free State High Court in Bloemfontein ruled in favour of Atul Gupta in his application to have a preservation order, obtained against him by the NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), set aside. Judge Fouche Jordaan ruled that the R10-million in Gupta's accounts be unfrozen.

In May, assets seized from the family and their business associates were ordered to be returned — mainly because the state's case was found to be flawed.

READ: Here Is Why The Guptas Are 'Getting Back The Money'.

What will be more worrisome for the state, is that courts think there are so far no reasonable grounds to believe that the Guptas and their partners may someday be convicted of the crimes of which they stand accused.

But the NPA is now seeking out other Gupta assets, some of which have been moved to Dubai.

Timeslive reported that the NPA recently won a court order allowing it to hunt for what it says are the proceeds of crime belonging to the family and their associates in Dubai.

The NPA reportedly appointed curator Eugene Nel to track down R169-million, believed to be made from Estina dairy project, and transferred to Dubai, allegedly through a company called Gateway Limited.

NPA spokesman Luvuyo Mfaku said they had only received the formal transcribed judgment from Bloemfontein High Court Judge Phillip Loubser, on his decision to return the assets of the Guptas and their associates, on Friday last week.

"The leadership is still applying their minds and have consulted senior counsel on whether the judgment will be appealed," he said.

He said the preservation order for the R169-million was granted on March 26.

"The fact that a preservation order was successfully granted, and that nobody has filed opposing papers challenging it, means we are always confident that this will be successful," Mfaku said.