The Tiny Victory
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Emirati authorities arrested two brothers at the center of a government scandal in South Africa, offering a boost for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his anemic anticorruption drive, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Police detained Atul and Rajesh Gupta in Dubai on an Interpol red notice, a global alert through which governments can get help in detaining and later extraditing suspects.
South African officials have accused the Gupta brothers of gaining lucrative government contracts by using their close ties to former President Jacob Zuma and paying off key officials in the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
The brothers have previously denied any wrongdoing and are expected to challenge their extradition in Dubai courts.
The arrests mark a modest win for Ramaphosa, who came to power four years ago following Zuma’s resignation amid corruption allegations. The former president, who has denied wrongdoing, was jailed last year after he failed to appear in front of a government-appointed commission examining suspected misconduct under his presidency. His arrest sparked days of rioting and looting across South Africa.
Zuma has since been released on medical grounds.
Ramaphosa has been under fire over the sluggish pace of corruption probes involving government officials and corporate executives.
The president is also fending off accusations that he covered up the 2020 theft of more than $4 million from one of his South African game farms, money that was allegedly hidden in furniture.
That has renewed scrutiny on the president’s wealth especially as the country is facing record unemployment and spiking inflation.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa is preparing to confront supporters of Zuma in an election for the leadership of the ruling ANC, which, if he loses, may terminate his presidency.