King pin Atul Gupta applies To Return To South Africa

Hardly two days after the Acting Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka released a report stating that the Ajay Gupta’s naturalisation by former Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba was unconstitutional, his brother Atul Gupta has now applied at a Gauteng Court to have his passport issued, potential return on the cards perhaps?

PHOTO: Time Magazine

Atul Gupta filed papers last month at the court last month suggesting that the failure to grant his passport by the Home Affairs director-general, effectively amounted to an unlawful conduct and it was reviewable.

Atul and his Gupta family fled South Africa for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, subsequent to former President Jacob Zuma’s removal from the Union Buildings in 2018.

They are facing a litany of allegations for corruption, theft, fraud, money laundering etcetera; and they are also accused of capturing the South African State during Zuma’s tenure, with a whole commission having set up to investigate their influence in matters of government.

PHOTO: The New York Times

The minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, has at many platforms indicated that Union Buildings was engaging with Abu Dhabi relating to the extradition of the Gupta family and their acquitances, however, he recently claimed that their Middle-Eastern counterparts were dragging their feet in the ground, showing unwillingness to cooperate.

“They the UAE told us what we needed to provide, which we did and that gave us hope because discussions went well, including what we needed to provide, however, there has been an apparent lack of cooperation,” Lamola said.

PHOTO: News24

In spite of that on-going process, Atul Gupta has sought for the department’s DG to issue him a 10-year valid South African passport by lodging an application at the Gauteng High Court. Atul accuses Home Affairs minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi of having decided that he must not be granted a South African passport based on spurious allegations.

Dr Motsoaledi told media in 2019, that the Guptas had applied for their South African citizenship to be renewed, this was despite their protestations to come back to the country and to answer questions pertaining to allegations of corruption levelled against them.

PHOTO: EWN

Gupta though, has stated the application he made in 2018 was for a reissuance of a new booklet and Dr Motsoaledi terribly missed that aspect of his application, as his passport only expires in 2025. Now, Atul intends to have a new booklet since his current one is running out of pages, which has immediate implications as he will not be able to travel.

“In fact, the application was for the issue of the new booklet since I already possess a valid passport which will expire in 2025 and had applied for a new passport since the pages were running out,” he stated in the affidavit.

PHOTO: Financial Times

Relating to the Minister’s comments that he will not be granted an new passport, Atul says his constitutional rights are being trampled upon, as by virtue of not possessing a new passport, he will not be able to travel and conduct his normal business.

“…the failure to process my passport application is a way of punishing me by preventing me from travelling, thereby violating my constitutional right to free movement,” he added.

“My circumstances and business activities in South Africa are well-known and it would not be appropriate to describe myself as having a public profile. I have been the subject of speculation and reporting by the media, much of it which is inaccurate,” he continued.

PHOTO: IOL

Gupta went on to say the decision to grant him the passport was within the DG’s discretion and not that of the minister, indicating that he is entitled to a new passport as per the Constitution and the Passport Act, and any decision otherwise is in complete violation of his rights.

The controversial family had been summoned to appear to the Zondo commission of inquiry in 2018 when it started its course, however, they had indicated of their willingness to testify through video link, but Chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo outrightly rejected that possibility.

What do you make of the Atul Gupta’s application to have a new passport, do you think he should granted a new passport considering the huge allegations against him?

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Killer of albino sentenced to death in malawi

a group of people around each other: Malawi has seen a surge in attacks on people with albinism in recent years
© ERICO WAGA Malawi has seen a surge in attacks on people with albinism in recent years

Malawi’s high court has sentenced to death a man who murdered a young albino, an unprecedented penalty in a country which has seen a surge in attacks and killings of people with albinism.

Willard Mikaele, then 28, was convicted of killing 19-year-old Mphatso Pensulo in the southern district of Thyolo in 2017.

“He planned to kill an albino so as to get rich fast as advised by the herbalist,” judge Maclean Kamwambe said in handing down the sentence on Friday in Thyolo.

“It has been reiterated that there will be times when death sentence shall be unavoidable due to the circumstances and that it should be reserved for such occasions,” the judge said.

Malawi has not carried out any executions since 1994, with death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

The verdict suggests a growing awareness by the Malawian authorities of the attacks on albinos, said Ikponwosa Ero, the UN independent expert on albinism.

“I am watching with keen interest, what seems like an awakening on the part of the government of Malawi vis-a-vis the terrible crime spree that has been going on in the country against persons with albinism,” she told AFP Saturday, while expressing strong opposition to the death penalty.

Malawi, one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent countries, has experienced a surge in violent attacks on people with albinism since late 2014.

In many cases those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft rituals meant to bring wealth and luck.

In a June 2018 report, rights group Amnesty International said that since November 2014 there had been 148 crimes reported against people with albinism, with at least 21 deaths.

Just 30 percent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics, with only one murder and one attempted murder case successfully prosecuted.

President Peter Mutharika in March appointed a commission of inquiry to investigate the spate of attacks on people with albinism after coming under mounting criticism over his response to the attacks.

a person sitting on a table: UN expert Ikponwosa Ero says the Malawian authorities seem to waking up to the spate of attacks on people with albinism
© Amos Gumulira UN expert Ikponwosa Ero says the Malawian authorities seem to waking up to the spate of attacks on people with albinism

Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes a partial or total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes.

As a result, in addition to discrimination, many albinos often experience eye problems and have a heightened risk of skin cancer.

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