JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES COMMITTEE WELCOMES NEWS OF FREEZING ORDERS

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has noted media reports that the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) will today serve a summons to preserve the assets of the Gupta family to the tune of R1.6 billion.

The Committee Chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, said the Committee welcomed this process that was now started by the AFU, that falls under the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The Committee expressed the wish that this process should continue without fear or favour.

According to reports the AFU applied for three separate orders at the high court in Pretoria as well as the high court in Bloemfontein last month, and the ex parte applications seeking orders to preserve the Guptas' assets were granted. The application was brought in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, which allows assets of defendants in criminal cases � or people who have yet to be criminally charged � to be preserved pending the outcome of their prosecution. After they have been successfully prosecuted, the assets are then permanently forfeited to the state. Under the act, the assets in question are alleged to have been acquired with the proceeds of crime.

Dr Motshekga said the Committee is assured that no stone will be left unturned to ensure that criminals are stopped in their tracks and that they do not benefit from the proceeds of such criminal activities. Criminals must know that the law will deal with them in all respects in the harshest possible way. Nobody is above the law, said Dr Motshekga.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

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