Home Affairs Dept insist Guptas didn’t receive preferential treatment

Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee probing the naturalisation of the Guptas has now heard that Ajay Gupta’s family submitted separate applications to the department and not as a family as previously stated.

FILE: Atul Gupta. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The Home Affairs Department insists that the Guptas did not receive preferential treatment when they applied for South African citizenship.

But they’ve been found wanting to prove that all the requirements were met.

Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee probing the naturalisation of the Guptas has now heard that Ajay Gupta’s family submitted separate applications to the department and not as a family as previously stated.

On Thursday, Minister Malusi Gigaba and former director-general, Mkuseli Apleni, are expected in the hot seat to provide answers.

The department says that at the time Atul and Rajesh Gupta were naturalised in 2002 and 2006, respectively, the law at the time did not require proof that they had renounced their Indian citizenship.

The Citizenship Act came into effect in 2013, requiring the Ajay Gupta's family to prove the renunciation of their citizenship.

However, Parliament’s Home Affair Committee says that this was not provided within the six months required.

The Indian High Commission only confirmed they were no longer Indian citizens last year, two years after Ajay Gupta’s wife, mother and two children received their South African citizenship.

Former deputy director-general, Vusi Mkhize, insists that the family did not receive preferential treatment, but the committee says it still appears that the naturalisation of the Guptas within nine months was still quicker than any other applicant.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)