South African Parliament asks questions about influential Gupta family's naturalisation

Cape Town: South Africa's Parliament said it wants clarification regarding the naturalisation process of the controversial Indian Gupta family.

"The Parliament on Tuesday has resolved to invite Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) Mkuseli Apleni to give facts on the naturalisation process of the Gupta family," Parliament spokesperson Malatswa Molepo said.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs had initiated a process to engage the DHA on the matter because it considered the matter to be in the public interest, Xinhua news agency quoted Molepo as saying.

File image of South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Reuters

File image of South African Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Reuters

He added that the resolution also responds to the call to expedite the probe into the issue.

Gigaba, who became the Finance Minister in April, granted naturalisation to the Guptas when he was the Minister of Home Affairs.

The Gupta family's naturalisation, which was revealed recently by social media, has sparked a public outcry.

The Guptas, who allegedly keep close ties with President Jacob Zuma and his family, have been under fire for exerting undue influence on Zuma in the appointment of cabinet ministers and the awarding of lucrative contracts with state-owned companies, known as "state capture".

Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied the accusation.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, which has oversight over DHA, is committed to urgently dealing with the matter, Moleno said.

Gigaba has defended the granting of naturalisation to the Gupta family, saying he handled the Guptas' naturalisation application "in a lawful manner".

The granting of naturalisation certificates of this nature is not unusual as similar courtesies have been extended to prominent businessmen, including executives of multinationals, and sports people, Gigaba said.

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 07:52 AM

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