Just five hours before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that advocate Shamila Batohi was his choice to lead the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the state withdrew its first "state capture" prosecution against multiple Gupta family members and associates. The state stressed that the withdrawal is provisional, the result of the NPA’s failure to meet a court-ordered deadline to hand over its docket and finalise indictment in the Estina dairy farm "scam" case. However, just over an hour after the case was quietly withdrawn in a cramped courtroom in the Bloemfontein magistrate’s court, Ajay Gupta released a statement saying he is confident the case "will never see the light of day again". While his words have been greeted with scorn, derision and outrage, Gupta may not be wrong. The Estina prosecution, and its multiple failures, is illustrative of the mess that Batohi will walk into when she takes over as national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) in February. Underresource...

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