The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has missed its deadline to appeal against the unfreezing of R250m in Gupta properties and cars — but the state is adamant this does not mean the end of its bid to permanently seize those assets. In May the state suffered what it described as a "devastating" ruling in the High Court in Bloemfontein, which was not satisfied there was adequate evidence linking the assets to the alleged Estina dairy scam. Judge Phillip Loubser said the evidence the state used was "unreliable" and showed "many shortcomings that remain unexplained at this point". The state maintains the Estina project, meant to empower poor black farmers, was a sham that involved fraud and money laundering. So far, however, it has struggled to produce evidence that the Guptas were embroiled in this. Despite indicating that it was unhappy with the Loubser ruling, the NPA has not filed a notice that it will appeal. "We do have the option of applying for condonation to appeal this jud...

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