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Home Affairs Dept never verified Ajay Gupta’s family investment claims

Parliament’s inquiry into the naturalisation of members of the family on Thursday heard that representations were made on their behalf by associate, Ashu Chawla.

FILE: Ajay Gupta. Credit: YouTube

CAPE TOWN - The Home Affairs Department says that it never verified claims of investments and job creation made on behalf of Ajay Gupta’s family in support of their application to become South African citizens.

Parliament’s inquiry into the naturalisation of members of the family on Thursday heard that representations were made on their behalf by associate, Ashu Chawla.

He is being prosecuted for fraud in the Estina dairy farm matter.

The committee says that he’s a central figure they want to hear from.

But his lawyer has informed Parliament that he’s in India.

Chawla was a former executive of Gupta-owned company Sahara Computers.

He played a key role in facilitating applications for visas and permits for the Gupta family and their employees.

Home Affairs official, Norman Ramashia, has told Parliament he didn’t check the representations Chawla made on behalf of Ajay Gupta’s wife and mother when their application for naturalisation was rejected.

“We just took what they wrote based on the fact that if they misrepresented themselves, then that’s something else.”

The committee wants the department to check whether Chawla is really in India.

His lawyer says he will only be back in November.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)