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Home Affairs officials allegedly sped up processes for Guptas to get documents

This includes considering a request for a separate immigration counter at the airport for guests who attended the family’s Sun City wedding in 2013.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma (centre) seen with Atul Gupta (left) and former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (right). Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s Home Affairs committee has heard how officials allegedly expedited and smoothed the way for the Gupta family to obtain the necessary documents to live in and operate businesses in South Africa.

This includes considering a request for a separate immigration counter at the airport for guests who attended the family’s controversial Sun City wedding in 2013.

The committee is conducting an inquiry into the early naturalisation of Gupta family members.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) says leaked emails it’s studied show that Home Affairs officials went out of their way to assist in speeding up and approving applications for naturalisation, work permits, and other documents when approached by a Gupta family intermediary Ashu Chawla.

In return, they received visas to Dubai for their families and invitations to the Gupta wedding.

The inquiry has also heard that North West schools did not receive the social investment the Guptas promised in their naturalisation applications.

Education MEC Jonas Lehari says any interaction Gupta-linked companies may have had with schools bypassed his office.

“We take this experience as an eye-opener. Since we became aware of it, we are more vigilant than ever.”

The committee also heard that a Home Affairs official visited some schools to check on any donations that may have been made by the family.

The inquiry is still to hear from those Home Affairs officials implicated in the suspicious awarding of documents.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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