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Atul Gupta challenges state capture case, confirms he is out of the country

By News24 19 February 2018

Johannesburg - Controversial Gupta brother Atul was in Dubai when he signed the affidavit that forms part of his application to have a preservation order obtained against him, by the NPA's Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), set aside.

In the court papers, dated February 8, Gupta acknowledged that the affidavit was signed and sworn in Dubai. The affidavit was stamped and signed by a commissioner of oaths at the South African Consulate in Dubai.

“I wish to state at the outset, that I am currently outside South Africa,” he said.

In the 18-page affidavit, Gupta said that National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams “not only failed to make out a case for relief sought”, but also misled the court with the evidence which led to the order being granted.

Gupta is challenging the preservation order, valued at R10m and wants to have it set aside.

He denied that he unduly benefited from the Estina dairy farm project, but added that he has not had an opportunity to read the papers.

“The affidavit is prepared in extreme haste as I was only able to give factual instructions on February 7,” he said.

Gupta also submitted that he did not take issue with the order pertaining to the preservation of immovable property.

He restricted his challenge to the amount of R220m.

The NPA seized control of a dairy farm in the Free State, Gupta’s bank accounts, companies co-owned by Duduzane Zuma and other entities in the Gupta empire.

The Free State High Court in January put the Krynaauwslust farm near Vrede in the Free State under curatorship.

News24 reported that the order reveals that the Free State’s agricultural department – under then agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane – paid R220m to the Guptas in what the AFU calls a “scheme designed to defraud and steal monies from the department”.

Gupta believes AFU financial investigator Nkosiphendule Mradla and Abrahams have not demonstrated that any portion of the R220m paid to Estina was transferred to his account.

“I categorically deny any such transfer into any bank account owned or operated by me. Accordingly, the order could not have been granted on the paper before the honourable judge… It is clear that the order ought to be set aside,” his affidavit states. DM

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