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'Nearly half of naturalised Guptas in SA from controversial family'

Home Affairs has recorded a total of 62 people in the country with the surname Gupta. They say 39 are not citizens and 10 were born in this country.

FILE: Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Home Affairs Department has confirmed that almost half of the people with the surname Gupta who have been naturalised as South African citizens are part of the controversial Gupta family.

The department has recorded a total of 62 people in the country with the surname Gupta, 39 are not citizens and 10 were born in this country.

Thirteen people with that surname have been naturalised and of those, six are part of the controversial family accused of state capture, including Atul and Rajesh Gupta.

The department’s Director-General Mkuseli Apleni said: “What we have said is a fact, in June 2017, I said Ajay Gupta is not a citizen. We believe that what we’ve said is still the same, except that yesterday there was an issue of Atul which we never dealt with and that’s why we’re dealing with it today.”

WATCH: Apleni clarifies Guptas citizenship

Ajay had applied for naturalisation, along with his four family members, his wife, mother and two sons.

Apleni said that only Ajay’s family members were granted early naturalisation in May 2015.

“The reason that Ajay Gupta was not naturalised is that he did not renounce his Indian citizenship. Therefore, he remains not a citizen of South Africa. He only holds a permanent residence permit.”

Ajay decided not to renounce his Indian citizenship and because India doesn’t allow dual citizenship he remains a permanent resident of South Africa, but not a citizen.

Apleni says the situation is different for Ajay’s two brothers.

However, Apleni insists that Minister Malusi Gigaba did not deal with Atul or Rajesh’s citizenship as he wasn’t a minister at the time.

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