Indian ANN7 staff had ‘work permit requirements waived’

#GuptaLeaks revealed how Malusi Gigaba allegedly approved the transfer of two immigration officials to SA’s mission in Delhi.

FILE:  Picture: ANN7.

PRETORIA - A former ANN7 employee, Rajesh Sundaram, has confirmed to Eyewitness News that Indian nationals employed by the television network had work permit requirements waived, and their applications were fast-tracked by an official at South Africa’s High Commission in Delhi.

Reports on Thursday on the Gupta email leaked by amaBhungane and the Daily Maverick reveal how former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba allegedly approved the transfer of two immigration officials to South Africa’s mission in Delhi.

The emails show how the pair took instructions from Gupta associates, specifically to fast-track visa applications for Indian _ANN7 _staff.

Eyewitness News revealed in 2013 that at least seven network staff were working in South Africa on holiday visas.

At the time, the company denied any wrongdoing and insisted all its visa and work permits were in order.

According to South Africa’s immigration website in India, at least a dozen supporting documents are needed to obtain a permit to work in South Africa.

These include medical certificates, proof of income, police clearance certificates and written undertakings from the prospective employer.

Sundaram says they had no such problems.

“There were a lot of paperwork involved but we didn’t have time to go through all of that, we were just asked to go to the embassy to meet a particular person, hand them our passport and within a few days the work permit was done. There were no questions asked.”

Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni agreed to comment on this issue but could not be reached on Thursday afternoon.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)