By BO Staff Writer
Atul Gupta must get back his R10 million. The Free State High Court in Bloemfontein has ruled that most of the funds preserved by the Assets Forfeiture Unit (AFU) be released to the owners. Of the R220 million that was initially preserved for the Vrede dairy farm, only R40 million remains preserved.
The High Court essentially cleared Atul Gupta of any wrongdoing in the Estina/Vrede dairy farm project saga. The judgement vindicates the Gupta family which has been consistently saying that it is targeted unfairly. Many economic observers have said that the judicial and political persecution of the Guptas is at the instigation of white monopoly capital (WMC) which doesn’t want competition.
The High Court decision also shows that the NPA including its AFU is used by WMC to persecute those it wants out of the economy. The Court accepted the version of Atul Gupta that the AFU basically lied to it in order to secure the preservation order. This raises serious questions about the criminal cases opened against people associated with the Gupta businesses. It looks like a witch-hunt to eliminate competition. The empty allegations in these cases accordingly cannot be proven in any fair court of law.
The Gupta court victory has been under reported by the media so as to try and minimise its importance in exposing how state institutions are used by WMC against its opponents. After the Gupta victory in the Free State High Court, WMC has instructed Malusi Gigaba to seek revenge by revoking the permanent citizenship of Ajay Gupta. Gigaba is said to be currently in the process of fulfilling this demand of WMC.