Bemused and perplexed that the Gupta family would deliberately move to defeat the ends of the justice system in the country, the nation’s parliament, through the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs will be briefed on Tuesday morning on the naturalisation application process of the Gupta family.
On Monday last week, the Economic Freedom Fighters said it had received reliable information that during Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s tenure as home affairs minister, he unduly granted the Gupta family South African citizenship.
Gigaba confirmed that the letters are genuine.
“I have requested the Department of Home Affairs to provide chronological details of how all applications by the Gupta family have been handled by the Department of Home Affairs from the beginning,” Gigaba said in a statement released by the finance department on Tuesday.
“We have no doubt that the whole process has been handled by the book in terms of our laws.”
Gigaba explained that he had lawfully approved their applications in terms of the South African Citizen Act of 1995 which was amended by the South African Citizenship Amendment Act in 2010.
The act vested Gigaba with the authority to grant a certificate of naturalisation as a South African citizen to any “alien” who satisfied the requirements for naturalisation.
In a letter dated January 22, 2015, Mr GG Hlatshwayo, on behalf of the director general, “correctly denied” the Guptas South African citizenship stating that they “did not comply with the requirement in terms of section 5(1)(b) of the South African Act 2010,” the EFF said in a statement on Monday.
Hlatshwayo indicated that the Guptas “did not have five years of physical residence in the Republic of South Africa”, the EFF said.
The application for naturalisation was therefore unsuccessful and the Guptas were advised to make another attempt on December 23, 2015, “provided [they] do not exceed 90 days outside South Africa for every year in the five years preceding [their] new application and comply with requirements as prescribed in Citizenship Act, Act 17 of 2010 as amended”.
A few months later, Gigaba, in a letter dated May 30, 2015, wrote to the Guptas, granting them, what he terms, “early naturalisation”.
Gigaba stated at the time that “after careful consideration of the matter, I have decided by the powers vested in me under section 5(9)(a) of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 (Act no 17 of 2010), to wave the residential requirements in regards to your application for naturalisation and grant you early naturalisation”.
The EFF is taking the matter to court.