Friends, Saffers, countrymen? Confusion over Gupta family's status

There’s been a great deal of confusion about which members of the Gupta family have been naturalised.

A screengrab of Ajay Gupta. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The issue of whether the Gupta brothers are South African citizens or not has been the subject of two Home Affairs press conferences and several pointed questions this week.

There’s been a great deal of confusion about which members of the Gupta family have been naturalised and whether Ajay, who’s being sought by the Hawks, is a citizen.

“Ajay Gupta is not a South African citizen, Mr Atul Gupta is also not,” was the first explanation from Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday.

But within hours of Gigaba's statement, there was push back from the EFF, as they accused him of lying about the Gupta family's citizenship. The party claimed to be in possession of ID numbers and copies of documents belonging to Ajay and Atul Gupta, showing that they are registered South African voters.

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu also rocked the boat when on Tuesday night, when she expressed surprise on hearing that the Guptas were not South African citizens.

The IEC then weighed in on Wednesday, casting further doubt on Gigaba's statement when they confirmed: “Atul Gupta is properly registered [to vote] at a primary school in Saxonworld."

Twenty-four hours on from Gigaba's briefing, another press conference was held by the Home Affairs Department, this time by Gigaba’s Director-General, Mkuseli Apleni.

“Atul Gupta was naturalised in 2002 and Rajesh Gupta in 2006,” Apleni clarified.

So, where are we now? It seems Atul Gupta is a South Africa citizen and so is his brother Rajesh but Ajay is not.

WATCH: Apleni clarifies Guptas citizenship