Gup­tas used ‘KFC school meals’, jobs to get SA ci­ti­zen­ship

The Mercury - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Gupta fam­ily said in a mo­ti­va­tion let­ter for early nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion that they had pro­vided take­away meals for school-chil­dren as part of a feed­ing scheme, and for some it was the first time they “ever had some­thing like KFC”.

They wrote the let­ter af­ter an ap­pli­ca­tion for early nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion was re­jected for An­goori Gupta, the Gupta broth­ers’ mother; Shivani Gupta, Ajay Gupta’s wife; and their chil­dren Ka­mal and Surya Sing­hala.

Other in­for­ma­tion in the let­ter in­cluded that the fam­ily in­vested R25bn in South Africa, em­ployed 7 000 peo­ple and were in­volved in up­lift­ment projects.

The let­ter was read out yes­ter­day by Richard Sikakane, a for­mer Home Af­fairs of­fi­cial, dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary in­quiry on the nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion process for the fam­ily.

MPs were told that no ev­i­dence could be found of a feed­ing scheme at North West schools. The ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cials also said they did not be­lieve any do­na­tions were made to 77 schools in the area.

But Sikakane said the let­ter had been viewed as “ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances” and had war­ranted waiv­ing of the nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion re­quire­ments.

Mean­while, at the state cap­ture com­mis­sion of in­quiry yes­ter­day, chair­per­son Deputy Chief Jus­tice Ray­mond Zondo re­fused ap­pli­ca­tions by the Gup­tas to cross-ex­am­ine wit­nesses and tes­tify from out­side the coun­try via a video link, say­ing there was no rea­son for them not to re­turn to SA.

Jus­tice Zondo also said he had asked for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma to re­spond to ev­i­dence by wit­nesses who im­pli­cated him. This was de­spite Zuma’s de­ci­sion not to ap­ply to cross-ex­am­ine wit­nesses. | Mer­cury Cor­re­spon­dents and African News Agency (ANA)

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