Press release

South Africa: Freedom House Applauds US Sanctions on Gupta Family for Corruption

US Sanctions on Gupta family are a good step toward fighting corruption in South Africa.


In response to the US government’s decision to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act on members of the Gupta family and one of their associates for large-scale corruption in South Africa, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“We applaud the US government’s decision to place sanctions on individuals who were at the heart of the ‘state capture’ scandal in South Africa,” said Jon Temin, director of Africa programs at Freedom House. “The actions of the Guptas and others undermined the legitimacy of the democratic state. The US move strengthens growing efforts by South Africa’s reinvigorated National Prosecuting Authority to combat widespread corruption and reduce impunity. The United States should use all means at its disposal to support South African civil society and official institutions as they work to root out corruption, so that South Africa can assume a position of global leadership on good governance and transparency.”


According to revelations by civil society, investigative journalists, and the Office of the Public Protector, the three Gupta brothers and their co-conspirators are alleged to have suborned politicians and public officials to enrich themselves under the cover of their business enterprises. A judicial commission has begun hearings that are uncovering a wide range of related criminal and corrupt activities in public utilities and state procurement systems.

South Africa is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2019 and Free in Freedom on the Net 2018.