MPs to fo­cus on Gup­tas’ cit­i­zen­ship

Home Af­fairs com­mit­tee wants re­port on fam­ily’s SA ap­pli­ca­tions

Cape Argus - - NEWS - May­i­bongwe Maqhina

THE early nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion of the Gup­tas will come un­der the spot­light this week when the Home Af­fairs port­fo­lio com­mit­tee re­ceives a re­port from par­lia­men­tary re­searchers and le­gal ser­vices.

A few months ago the com­mit­tee re­searcher and le­gal ser­vices were tasked to un­der­take a pre­lim­i­nary in­ves­ti­ga­tion that would de­ter­mine the type of in­quiry Par­lia­ment would pur­sue into the con­tro­ver­sial fam­ily.

Chair­man Hlo­mane Chauke said yes­ter­day the com­mit­tee had been deal­ing with pe­riph­eral is­sues on how some of the Gupta fam­ily ac­quired South African cit­i­zen­ship.

“We are to go deeper. How many of them are here, how they came to the coun­try, and what kind of doc­u­ment did they ap­ply for when they came to the coun­try. That is the in­for­ma­tion we want,” he said.

Chauke said the com­mit­tee would re­ceive a re­port on the doc­u­ments the com­mit­tee re­searcher and le­gal ser­vices re­quested from state in­sti­tu­tions.

“There must be a pa­per trail of ev­ery­thing that has been ap­plied for.

“That kind of in­for­ma­tion is what we want,” he said.

In May, the com­mit­tee heard that work still needed to be done in col­lect­ing and analysing in­for­ma­tion used by the Home Af­fairs Depart­ment to grant the Gup­tas cit­i­zen­ship.

At the time in­for­ma­tion from the home af­fairs, labour and North West ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ments was still out­stand­ing.

The place­ment of ad­ver­tise­ments in news­pa­pers call­ing on the pub­lic to make sub­mis­sions and a trip to con­duct in­ter­views had not been au­tho­rised.

Chauke said it was cru­cial that the com­mit­tee ob­tained the in­for­ma­tion, which in­cluded de­tails of a panel es­tab­lished to deal with the Gup­tas’ cit­i­zen­ship ap­pli­ca­tions.

“We want to get to know who are the peo­ple who were in­volved and look at the way to call them to tes­tify.

“That in­for­ma­tion is to help us a lot as to the kind of ap­proach we are to take”

He also said there were days al­ready set aside in the com­ing weeks when peo­ple would be called to tes­tify be­fore the in­quiry.

“There are two or three days we have put aside. Def­i­nitely, we are get­ting into that process,” Chauke said. He would not give the ex­act dates be­cause he did not have the com­mit­tee’s pro­gramme on hand.

DA MP Han­iff Hoosen said he ex­pected all records used by the depart­ment to make the de­ci­sion on the Gup­tas’ ap­pli­ca­tion to be pro­duced so that the com­mit­tee could make a de­ter­mi­na­tion.

Hoosen said his party was cau­tiously op­ti­mistic of the ANC’s will­ing­ness to get to the bot­tom of Gupta saga.

“Although there have been at­tempts to pre­vent the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, we got a new chair­per­son and the ANC took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. “Let’s see how it goes,” he said. Hoosen also said the DA would sup­port the Gupta nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion probe as long it was an open process.

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