The United States announced that it sanctioned four members of South Africa’s Gupta family who have been implicated in the corruption case of former president Jacob Zuma.
Zuma, who was forced to resign in 2018, faced questioning over allegations of allowing influence-peddling during his almost two terms in office, which saw the Gupta family awarded lucrative government contracts.
The U.S. sanctions targeted Ajay Gupta, Atul Gupta, Rajesh Gupta and Salim Essa for their involvement in corruption in South Africa, the U.S. Treasury Department said.
The sanctions freeze all property belonging to them in the U.S. as they also block all transactions by U.S persons that were involved in any property of the Gupta family members.
“The Gupta family leveraged its political connections to engage in widespread corruption and bribery, capture government contracts, and misappropriate state assets,’’ U.S. Treasury official Sigal Mandelker said in a statement.
Mandelker said the designation targets the Guptas’ pay-to-play political patronage, which he said was orchestrated at the expense of the South African people.
The family has been accused of being involved in several schemes in which they allegedly stole hundreds of millions of dollars through illegal deals with the South African government.
Zuma who was forced to resign in February 2018 by his party, the African National Congress (ANC), has been badly damaged by the scandals.