A Gupta brother and one of the family’s business associates have been arrested by the Hawks‚ sources said on Wednesday morning.
The Hawks were seen early on Wednesday shutting off a portion of the street outside the family’s home in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, as they conducted the raid. Officers also raided other properties in Johannesburg linked to the family and their associates.
Hawks spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi was not immediately available for comment, but earlier said the raids were part of the larger investigation into state capture.
“We are not playing around. We take this investigation very seriously‚” he said.
However, Ahmed Gani‚ the embattled Gupta brothers’ lawyer‚ insisted his clients had not been arrested.
“I am en route to meet them now. They have not been arrested or charged with anything and are still free as we speak‚” he told TimesLIVE.
Gani‚ of the law firm Gani Mayet Attorneys in Johannesburg‚ said he had yet to receive any documents pertaining to a search and seizure warrant.
Gani was summoned from his Houghton offices after a call for assistance by an employee of the Guptas.
He said he would also meet the Hawks.
Dairy farm link
The raids are believed to be linked to last month’s preservation order obtained by the Asset Forfeiture Unit in relation to the Estina Dairy Farm project‚ at Vrede in the Free State.
The project was meant to be a lifeline to indigent farmers but saw millions of rand allegedly siphoned off to the Guptas.
The #GuptaLeaks reports revealed last year that at least R30-million paid to the Guptas via the farm ended up funding the family’s lavish Sun City wedding in 2013[tooltip id=”4500c2f113202943ff1ae30d00c9d4ac”] [/tooltip]– but this did not form part of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s probe.
Mkhwebane said the Estina expenditure was being investigated by the Hawks.
In her report‚ she found that the Free State agriculture department had failed to manage and monitor implementation of the terms of agreement with Estina in relation to budget evaluation‚ expenditure control and Estina’s performance.
Mkhwebane directed Free State Premier Ace Magashule to institute disciplinary proceedings against all implicated officials involved in the project and submit a report to the public protector on the action he would take once a disciplinary process had been concluded.
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