‘Nullify Hitler as a German citizen’
Call for SA to revoke Guptas’ citizenship
AGerman politician is devising means to have one of history’s most evil dictators, Adolf Hitler’s German citizenship revoked, almost 62 years after his death.
Hitler revoked his Austrian citizenship in 1925, before taking up German citizenship on February 25, 1932, a decision that would haunt Germany many decades later. The decision for Hitler’s controversial naturalisation came after he was appointed as a civil servant in the former Nazi stronghold of Braunschweig.
And when he was awarded his German passport, the megalomaniac Nazi Party leader reportedly abruptly brushed off the congratulations, saying: “You should congratulate Germany, not me!”.
But now a German politician, Isolde Saalmann, from the Social Democrats of Lower Saxony’s regional parliament, is working tirelessly to have the decision to grant the Führer German citizenship rescinded. She has argued in the media that having Hitler stripped of his German citizenship would be a “symbolic step”.
In South Africa, opposition political parties such as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), and the SA Communist Party (SACP), are calling for the controversial Gupta family – personal friends of President Jacob Zuma – to be stripped of their South African citizenship because of their “poisonous nature”. They are accused of capturing key state institutions and influencing appointments of cabinet ministers. Leaked e-mails show how the Guptas moved money inside and outside South Africa, raising concerns of money laundering.
Just like in Hitler’s case, the Guptas’ naturalisation is shrouded in controversy. Their first attempts at getting South African citizenship failed in 2015, according to official letters from the Department of Home Affairs, that were released by the EFF last month.
However, in May 2015, then Home Affairs Minister and now Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, wrote to the business family, saying he had the “pleasure” of informing them that “after careful consideration I have decided to waive the requirements in regards to your application for naturalization, and grant you early naturalisation”.
While Department of Home Affairs director-general Mkhuseli Apleni has reportedly said Gigaba did not flout the law when granting the Guptas citizenship, the EFF has said it would challenge his decision in the courts.
SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila, who has spoken out against the Guptas, said their citizenship must be revoked because “of their poisonous nature”.
Speaking to Independent Media, SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said the party’s call for the Guptas’ citizenship to be revoked “predates the exposures on how they were naturalised”.
“The call was made in response to the dubious activities associated with them which (have no place) under our democratic national sovereignty. They have no respect whatsoever for the hospitality that South Africa granted them. The SACP is particularly concerned about their brazen ‘smash and grab’ business and wealth accumulation.
“Our state owned enterprises have been severely compromised as a result of the corporate capture as well as rent-seeking and tender corruption. At present, the success of our call remains the function of our struggle, to uproot corruption and corporate state capture in our country,” said Mashilo.
Ongama Mtimka, a Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University political science lecturer, told Independent Media: “The Gupta family have broken their declaration of allegiance to the republic, if allegations of state capture and the contents of leaked e-mails are anything to go by. As such, their citizenship should be revoked.”
He said the EFF was right in taking the matter to the courts so that “evidence showing due process was followed can be presented and tested in court”.
“The decision of the former minister (Gigaba) will also be subject to review if the basis for the approval was not in line with the requirements of the South African Citizenship Act of 1995 as amended,” said Mtimka.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi did not comment by the time of publication.
– Mkentane is on a twomonth fellowship with the International Journalists programme