SA extradition treaty with UAE to come into effect on July 10
Justice minister Ronald Lamola said on Friday that the extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had been finalised and would come into effect on July 10.
This followed a meeting with UAE ambassador to SA Mahash Saeed Salem Alhameli on Thursday.
“We welcome the finalisation and ratification of the treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance between South Africa and the UAE,” he said.
“These treaties are expected to allow for greater co-operation between the two states on legal matters and assist in the investigation and prosecution of crimes,” Lamola said.
The agreement paves the way for the Gupta brothers to face corruption charges in SA.
Lamola said, however, despite SA and the UAE having ratified the convention, the government had to date not “experienced the level of appreciation and co-operation which is required in terms of the convention in the fight against corruption”.
“However, we will continue to pursue our counterparts through diplomatic channels, to reach the desired levels of co-operation to enable our law enforcement agencies to bring to justice persons of interest on any investigation they are pursuing.
“It is our hope that even though we could not get the assistance we required through the UN convention, the ratification of the two treaties symbolises a change of course and co-operation.
“It is common cause that SA has persons of interest who frequent the UAE and are believed to be in the UAE. It is worth mentioning that our request for mutual legal assistance to the UAE to date was not prohibited by the fact that there were no treaties in force between the two states.”