Africa

South Africa warrant for businessman Ajay Gupta cancelled

Ajay and Atul Gupta, and Duduzane Zuma Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ajay Gupta (L) - pictured here with his brother Atul and Duduzane Zuma - has denied any wrongdoing

South African authorities have said that controversial businessman Ajay Gupta is no longer wanted by police.

An arrest warrant for Mr Gupta, issued in February 2018 for corruption charges, was cancelled on Thursday.

The authorities had sought to question Mr Gupta on allegations that he attempted to bribe former deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.

Mr Gupta, who is a close friend of ex-President Jacob Zuma, maintains his innocence and denies knowing Mr Jonas.

Mr Jonas told the commission investigating state corruption that Mr Gupta had offered him a $42m (£32m) bribe to take up the post of finance minister.

He said this happened during a meeting set up by Duduzane Zuma - Mr Zuma's son.

Corruption charges against Duduzane Zuma were provisionally withdrawn last month, while evidence continues to be heard by the corruption commission.

As a consequence, police say, they had to withdraw the arrest warrant against Mr Gupta.

It was exactly a year ago on Thursday that the elite Hawks police unit shocked South Africa by raiding the Guptas' lavish compound in Johannesburg, only to find that the brothers had disappeared abroad.

According to the BBC's Vauldi Carelse in Johannesburg, Mr Gupta is believed to be living in Dubai.

Local media have reported that arrest warrants have also been issued for the two other Gupta brothers, but this has not been confirmed by the Hawks.

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