Ajay Gupta wanted by SA Police, but not for Vrede matter

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PRETORIA, February 23 – Fugitive Ajay Gupta is being sought on a corruption matter unrelated to the controversial Estina Farm Community Project in Vrede, Free State province, acting head of the South African Police Service’s elite Hawks unit Lt-General Yolisa Matakata said on Friday.

“There has been various sentiments and views attributed to these investigations. We respect the different views and opinions, but however, only ourselves as the Hawks who are seized with this investigation can talk with authority, and nobody else,” Matakata told at a press briefing.

“I want to assure the nation that as the Hawks, we are not influenced in any way – be it politically or otherwise. All our investigations are being done competently, honestly, independently without any outside influence of any kind. We will continue to investigate these complex matters without fear or any favour.”

Matakata said the warrant of arrest against Gupta remains in force.

“At the moment, the investigation [team] is liaising with his lawyers who have written to us and we have responded accordingly,” she said.

Matakata’s remarks appeared to contradict outspoken Police Minister Fikile Mbalula who last week reportedly said Gupta was being sought for the Vrede farm matter.

Matakata said eight suspects were arrested on February 14 in connection with the Vrede Farm Project, but five were still on the loose. She did not name the outstanding suspects.

On Friday, Matakata also clarified that there is no warrant of arrest for former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane.

“We don’t have any warrants of arrest [against Zuma junior] … that pronouncement was never made by us. It came out of other speculations or expectations, I don’t know where it came from,” Matakata said as she addressed journalists in Pretoria.

“We have never made any pronouncements on him,” said the acting head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, or Hawks.

South African media had been widely reporting that Duduzane, a close ally of the controversial Gupta brothers, had fled the country with Ajay Gupta who is being sought by South African police.

– African News Agency (ANA)