The decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to provisionally withdraw charges against the Gupta enablers allegedly involved in syphoning millions of rand from the Estina dairy farm project in Vrede is a mighty blow in the fight against endemic corruption.

As more jaw-dropping revelations are made before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, the public is left to wonder: will the suspects ultimately pay for the destruction they’ve caused, or are they simply going to be left alone to enjoy their ill-gotten gains?

The Guptas, having robbed the country blind, are now laughing at us. They’ve made an ass of us.

The NPA and the Hawks studiously ignored all the alleged wrongdoing by the Guptas and their cronies circulating widely for some time. It was only after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC president in December 2017 that they were roused to action. In January, the Hawks searched the offices of Free State premier Ace Magashule, who had just been installed as ANC secretary-general, and those of the provincial department of agriculture. It was under Mosebenzi Zwane, a former mineral resources minister, that the agriculture department is alleged to have paid R220m to the Guptas — money intended to help emerging black farmers. Some of the money, R30m, is said to have gone into paying for a lavish wedding at Sun City. There was an outcry when a private jet carrying guests to the wedding landed at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, but little did the public realise that the entire thing was being paid for by the South African taxpayer. The raid on Magashule’s offices gave the public hope tha...

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