The family fled South Africa in 2018 when the net closed in on them as huge public protests eventually led to the ANC removing Zuma and appointing Cyril Ramaphosa as interim president.
Earlier, South Africa also appealed to the UN to bring the Guptas back to South Africa when negotiations with the UAE failed to yield results as there was no extradition treaty. between the two countries.
The treaty was ratified in June 2021, when South Africa immediately began the process of requesting the Guptas’ extradition.
The Guptas told the State Capture Inquiry Commission in 2018 that they were not prepared to return to South Africa to testify after a number of witnesses implicated them and Zuma, in corruption cases.
The brothers called South African authorities “recklessly incompetent” in their affidavit to the commission.
A number of witnesses have testified to the role of the Guptas in plundering huge amounts and also influenced the appointment of Cabinet ministers during Zuma’s nine-year tenure as South African President.
Although the arrests were widely welcomed, analysts warned that the public should not expect a quick resolution to the case against the Guptas, as it could even take a few years while they exhaust all avenues to their disposition to fight against their extradition.
Wayne Duvenhage, CEO of the organization Undoing Tax Abuse, said their investigations revealed that nearly R15 billion had been looted by the Guptas before they fled the country.
The Gupta family, originally from Saharanpur in India, entered South Africa by establishing a shoe store in the early 1990s.
They quickly expanded to include IT, media and mining companies, most of which have now been sold or closed.
The Bank of Baroda (BoB) was also embroiled in the scandal when it emerged it had helped the Guptas by opening accounts for them when all South African banks stopped doing business with the family.
BoB then closed its South African operations, citing a global reduction in operations.