Cape Town — Gupta Brothers Imprisoned in UAE Denied Bail Multiple Times – Justice Minister
According to Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola, Rajesh and Atul Gupta are imprisoned. “We have received a note verbale which is a formal confirmation by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government authorities that the two Gupta brothers are in their cells. They’ve also informed us that they’ve attempted on several occasions to apply for bail and their bail was denied,” Lamola said in a EWN report.
Speaking to the National Assembly, Lamola said that the brothers’ extradition from the UAE has not been delayed with the action proceeding within the extradition time frame. He added that extraditions are handled by two separate departments based on the criminal and diplomatic nature of the process. “It’s not only a matter handled by the National Prosecurting Authority. It has a relay effect after the NPA has dealt with the charges and the indictment, it then hands over the central authority,” the minister said.
The Gupta brothers, who were implicated during the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, were arrested in Dubai three months ago. The India-born brothers are friends of former president Jacob Zuma. They were accused of using their connections to Zuma to profit financially and influence senior government appointments. The pair denied any wrongdoing.
Oscar Pistorius Seeks Parole Hearing
Oscar Pistorius has petitioned courts to consider him for parole, according to AFP. The former Paralympic champion was jailed in 2014 to serve a 13-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Speaking to AFP, Pistorius’s lawyer Julian Knight said: “It’s an application to compel the parole board to convene a hearing for his consideration for parole.” Knight said Pistorius’s application doesn’t mean he must be placed on parole, but that he must be considered.
Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, saying he assumed a burglar was hiding in the en-suite bathroom of the couple’s apartment. He fired his weapon four times through the door, killing Steenkamp in the bathroom. Pistorius was initially found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in jail. The State appealed the verdict and the sentence. In 2015, and Pistorius was found guilty of murder and the longer sentence was passed.
Controversial Pro-South African Group Blocks Foreign Nationals from Receiving Hospital Treatment
The office of Health Minister Joe Phaahla has announced that he will conduct a a site visit of Kalafong Provincial Tertiary Hospital in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, IOL reports. This comes after members of Operation Dudula – a campaign aimed at addressing crime, a lack of jobs and poor health services caused by an “influx of illegal immigrants” – allegedly vetted people attempting to seek treatment by blocking those they determined to be foreign nationals.
Opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) called on its members to “defend” the facility with multiple physical confrontations already reported. The Department of Health urged members of the community to exercise caution, with national spokesperson Foster Mohale saying: “The department cautions against any individual or organisations whose actions pose threats on the lives of health workers and patients, and working closely with the law enforcement agencies will act accordingly … The department reiterates a call by government to condemn actions of those preventing people from accessing health facilities based on nationality, colour of their skin and the language they speak.”
According to EWN, Operation Dudula members opened a case against the CEO of Kalafong Provincial Tertiary Hospital, Sello Matjila. The organisation claims Matjila is harbouring foreign nationals seeking treatment at the facility, which they allege is in conflict with Section 42 of the Immigration Act. The Act reads that “no person, shall aid, abet, assist, enable or in any manner help – an illegal foreigner; or a foreigner in respect of any matter, conduct or transaction which violates such foreigner’s status, when applicable.”
The group’s actions come days after a viral video showed Limpopo province Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba telling a migrant patient that illegal Zimbabweans were putting a strain on the provincial healthcare system.