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Guptas naturalisation: MPs send ‘evasive’ Apleni packing

The former Home Affairs DG said it was untrue that the department had not verified all the information it was given to support awarding Ajay Gupta’s family with citizenship.

FILE: Former Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Former Home Affairs Director-General Mkuseli Apleni has been sent packing by Parliament’s Home Affairs committee after being evasive in answering questions related to the early naturalisation of the Gupta family.

Members of Parliament (MPs) expressed their frustration as he sought to justify the process with reams of paperwork.

Apleni said it was untrue that the department had not verified all the information it was given to support awarding Ajay Gupta’s family with citizenship.

Early on Thursday, officials said they had only taken the information on Gupta investments and job creation at face value.

Apleni left the department less than two months ago, after more than eight years at the helm.

He’s told the parliamentary inquiry that he had never met Ashu Chawla who made representations to Minister Malusi Gigaba about the Gupta’s investments in South Africa, in support of granting the family early naturalisation.

But he got MPs backs up when he insisted a letter from the Indian government was sufficient to prove that Ajay Gupta’s family had renounced their Indian citizenship.

“I know you’ve dealt with Parliament before, Apleni. You understand and know us, that’s why we’re not going to allow you to bombard us. I’ll adjourn this meeting and allow you to leave,” Home Affairs committee chairperson Hlomane Chauke Said.

The committee agreed to let Apleni leave to catch a flight but added that they reserved the right to call him to appear again at a later date.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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