You have to give credit to the Guptas for their ability to play South Africans and get away with it. In an interview with the New York Times published in October, Ajay Gupta did not discount the possibility that he might still testify at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture. “I’m not saying that I’m not coming to the commission,” Gupta said from the family’s new base in Dubai. “I will, but not this moment. “I want to clear my name,” he said — a variation of former president Jacob Zuma’s “I want my day in court” mantra. Ajay Gupta’s lawyer, Mike Hellens, had told judge Raymond Zondo the Guptas will not expose themselves to the “incompetence” of the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) by returning to testify at the state capture inquiry. Hellens said his clients believe the Hawks and the NPA are “recklessly incompetent and a national embarrassment”. Apart from the fact that the Guptas had enjoyed special protection from these two agencies, and were in esse...

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