The embattled Gupta family was on Wednesday morning hoping to strike a deal with the Hawks after the special unit carried out a raid on the controversial family’s Saxonwold compound in Johannesburg earlier in the day.
News of the planned deals‚ which would require the family’s lawyers to meet the Hawks on Wednesday‚ followed reports that President Jacob Zuma’s son and Gupta business associate Duduzane Zuma was to hand himself over‚ with his lawyers‚ to the Hawks on Wednesday.
Duduzane‚ in response to SMSs and calls‚ said he was in a meeting and could not speak.
He failed to comment on reports that he would hand himself over to the HawksSources close to the Guptas and with knowledge on the raids and their apparent looming arrests said moves were under way to get some sort of deal signed.
The Guptas lawyer‚ Ahmed Gani‚ said 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 a short while ago.
Gani‚ of the law firm Gani Mayet Attorneys in Johannesburg‚ said he had yet to receive any documents pertaining to the search and seizure warrant that led to heavily armed Hawks officers raiding the family’s Saxonwold compound early on Wednesday.
Gani was summoned from his Houghton offices after a call for assistance by an employee of the Guptas.
He confirmed that he would meet the Hawks on Wednesday.
The Hawks were seen early on Wednesday morning shutting off a portion of the street outside the family’s home as they conducted the raid. Officers also raided other properties in Johannesburg linked to the family and their associatesThe raids are believed to be linked to last month’s preservation order which the Asset Forfeiture Unit obtained 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 – 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.