Home Crime NPA refuse to GIVE UP on embarrassing Nulane Matter

NPA refuse to GIVE UP on embarrassing Nulane Matter

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By Thys Khiba – The NPA’s Investigating Directorate (ID) has confirmed it will scrutinise the judgement refusing it leave to appeal against the high court acquittal of the accused in the first state capture case brought before court.

On Thursday, the Bloemfontein high court dismissed the NPA’s application for leave to appeal the judgement handed by acting judge Nompumelelo Gusha which acquitted the accused in the state capture.

The state is expected to study the judgement and make a decision on the way forward.

The NPA’s Investigating Directorate (ID) notes the judgment handed down by acting Judge Gusha to deny the ID leave to appeal her acquittal and S174 application in relation to the S v. Pether Thabethe and others matter (Nulane R24.9 million),” said ID spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka.



Seboka said “the state would also like to clarify the misconception that the Nulane matter was the only case in which the Gupta brothers could be extradited.

This comes after the State applied for leave to appeal the acquittal of the accused.

The state confirmed two cases had been referred in the application to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Gupta’s extradition – the Nulane and the Estina matter.

The Estina matter is still at the pretrial stage in the Bloemfontein High Court and will return to court in August for further pretrial matters,” Seboka said.

Gusha Judgement

Gusha indicated after going through the questions sought to be reserved, she was of the view that the questions sought were questions of fact and not law.

“In conclusion, even if it were to be successfully argued that the questions of law sought to be reserved were indeed such, the question becomes, what would the practical effect of that judgement be in the face of the evidence as led?

“It is after all a salutary principle of our law that courts do not normally decide academic questions of law, the decision must be of practical effect,” said Gusha in her judgement.

Nulane Investment

In April, the Free State high court ruled that most of the documentary evidence submitted by the state in the Nulane’sR24.9m fraud and money laundering case was inadmissible.

Central News previously reported that the accused in the first State Capture Gupta-related case before court were discharged without having to defend themselves.

This is another blow in the mission to bring the Guptas back to South Africa.

The state has recently confirmed the Nulane matter is not the only case in which the Gupta brothers could be extradited.

All of the seven accused, former Free State government officials Peter Thabethe and Seipati Dhlamini; businessman Iqbal Sharma and his brother-in-law Dinesh Patel; long-time Gupta enterprise employee Ronica Raghavan; and companies IslandsiteInvestment One Hundred and Eighty and Nulane Investments in the R24.9m Nulane Investments matter are acquitted.

They have applied for a discharge at the close of the State’s case, in terms of Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. The seven accused claimed the State had failed to produce evidence that required a defence from them.

The multimillion-rand trial started on 23 January 2023.

The eight accused were on trial for charges ranging from fraud, money laundering and corruption in connection with a multimillion-rand feasibility study that led to the controversial Vrede Dairy Project.

A project for the Free State department of agriculture that cost the provincial department more than R280-million.

The Nulane Investments was appointed to do feasibility study. It was alleged that Nulane did not have the capacity to do so.

In their argument, the State alleged that the department appointed the company without following a procurement procedure and wrote a deviation memorandum that cited Nulaneas a sole service provider.

The court learnt that the company then outsourced the service to Deloitte for a fee of R1.5m.



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