Member of Gupta family branded a “fugitive from justice”

A member of the controversial Gupta family has been branded a fugitive by South African authorities after he failed to hand himself over on Thursday.

Ajay Gupta through his lawyer had an agreement with the country’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation that he would surrender to help with investigations into the Estina Dairy Farm in Vrede in the Free State.

He was due to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court today and he failed to do so.

Ajay’s arrest warrant came on the back of Jacob Zuma’s resignation on Wednesday.

The Gupta’s – a wealthy Indian-born South African family – have for long been accused of engaging in corrupt deals with President Jacob Zuma.

They family has also in the past been blamed for unexpected cabinet reshuffles, as Zuma critics alleged that he had given them power to run the state.

In March 2016, then-deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said that a member of the Gupta family had offered to promote him to the minister’s post in 2015.

The Guptas denied the allegation, also rejecting accusations by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor that she was offered the key post of public enterprise minister during a meeting at their Saxonworld mansion in 2010.

Mentor said that Zuma was present at the mansion when the offer was made, though the former president denied the allegation.