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Parties demand answers after Gigaba’s Gupta gaffe

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The Democratic Alliance is demanding answers following claims by home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday that the Guptas are not South African citizens.

TimesLIVE reported on Tuesday night that in at least one case – that of Atul Gupta – the recently re-appointed Gigaba seemingly got it wrong.

On Tuesday‚ Gigaba and home affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni provided feedback at a media briefing following meetings the pair had with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs to answer questions over the Gupta’s naturalisation. At the briefing‚ Gigaba said Atul was not a South African citizen – but a copy of Atul’s passport‚ which was among the tranche of #GuptaLeaks emails‚ lists Atul as “South African” under the “Nationality” section. Non-citizens cannot apply for passports.

Atul’s passport was issued on July 31‚ 2015. Gigaba was home affairs minister between May 2014 and March 2017.

In the wake of this‚ as well as other concerns‚ DA shadow minister of home affairs‚ Haniff Hoosen‚ has demanded answers.

“The briefing earlier today by…Gigaba on the status of the Guptas’ South African citizenship has only inspired more confusion and the matter is now as clear as mud. [On Wednesday] Gigaba will be back in the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and he must answer to whether he or the IEC has misled Parliament and the people of South Africa‚” he said.

Hoosen said that not only does Atul have a South African passport‚ but his South African identity document ends in the digits 080 – “which are only assigned to South African citizens”.

He said the DA also confirmed that Atul and three other family members – Arti‚ Shivani and Rajesh Gupta – “are all registered voters on our voter registration system”.

“Further‚ if you enter the ID number allegedly belonging to Atul Gupta on the IEC website‚ it confirms that the person is registered as a voter at the Saxonwold Primary School‚” said Hoosen.

This information alone was enough‚ he said‚ to haul Gigaba back in front of the portfolio committee.

“Gigaba must own up and clarify if the any of the Guptas have South African passports‚ ID numbers and if the Gupta’s voted in any national or municipal elections.

“The South African public deserves to know exactly what is going on and how it is that passports and ID numbers were issued and members of the family at the heart of state capture‚ which has seen billions which should have been spent on improving the lives of South Africans‚ stolen‚” said Hoosen.

The EFF also took aim at Gigaba, with deputy president Floyd Shivambu saying on Twitter that the minister was a “pathological liar” who was “surrounded by conmen and impostors who deliberately mislead South Africans”.

“The Guptas (Atul, Ajay, Atul) are South African citizens with South African passports and the 2 even registered to vote with the @IECSouthAfrica,” he tweeted.

[Source: Times Live]
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