The reward offered for information leading to the arrest of the Gupta brothers and Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, has risen to at least R1.4-million… and extra cash has been offered to entice the Gupta bodyguards and those already arrested to come forward with information.

The Hawks declared Ajay Gupta a “fugitive from justice” on Thursday after he failed to hand himself in regarding the Free State Vrede Dairy Farm ‘state capture’ scandal. His brothers Atul and Rajesh Gupta, as well as Duduzane, are also wanted for questioning.

Eight people – including relatives and close business allies – were already arrested and have been let out on bail. They are accused of stealing R220-million from the Estina Dairy Farm project, money which was intended for local black farmers.

South African millionaire and CEO of Sygnia Tech Solutions, Magna Wiezycka, this morning matched the R500,000 reward money – already offered by Private Forensic Investigator Paul O’Sullivan – to take the bounty to the million rand mark.

O’Sullivan offered a R200,000 reward for Ajay’s capture, and R300,000 for the location of Ajay’s brothers and Duduzane.

Wiezycka tweeted this morning: “I am willing to match the reward Rand for Rand. So now we have R1 million in the pool. South Africans, contribute your spy skills. We need these crooks in jail where they belong. As soon as possible.”

Phiwa Nkambule, CEO of a company called Riovic, pledged more to the reward: “I’m topping this up with R400 000. The reward is now R1,4 million.”

At lunchtime on Saturday, Wiezycka added in a tweet: “I am posting more rewards:
1. R200k to 1st bodyguard currently with Ajay Gupta who calls CrimeStop on 08600 10111 to advise of his location.
2. R200k to 1st accused in the Vrede Dairy Farm case (of the ones that appeared in court) to turn state witness. To help with legal fees.”

She said: “The sooner we catch and convict them the sooner we can recover R50bn plus. That will go much further in rebuilding SA than some rewards posted to get is there.

“Everyone is very aware of what Duduzane Zuma and the Gupta brothers have done to South Africa and they seem to have staged a disappearing act. I think it’s really up to every single South African to be on the lookout for these guys and in particular, what I do know is they are all protected by bodyguards.”

According to unconfirmed reports, the men are being protected by bodyguards taking them from one house to another. Ajay is rumoured to be under VIP protection in Lesotho, and allegedly received help from ANC Secretary General and Free State Premier, Ace Magashule. (During President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address last night in Cape Town, members of the Economic Freedom Fighters shouted “Ace! Ace!” when Ramaphosa referred to the government’s determination to “turn the tide on corruption”.)

South Africa’s Minister of Police, ‘Mr Fearf*kkol’ Fikile Mbalula, said on Saturday: “Suspect Ajay Gupta is evading the law. We have begun to hunt him down. He can run but he can’t hide #Estina.”