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'We'll drag him kicking and screaming before committee'

Parliament's Home Affairs committee chairperson Hlomani Chauke says MPs really want to hear from Gupta intermediary Ashu Chawla on the family's naturalisation in South Africa.

A screengrab of MPs presiding over a parliamentary inquiry into the naturalisation of members of the Gupta family.

CAPE TOWN - Malusi Gigaba may have resigned as Home Affairs minister, but an inquiry into the naturalisation of the Guptas will continue.

Gigaba signed off on the early naturalisation of four members of Ajay Gupta 's family which Parliament's Home Affairs committee has been probing.

The inquiry is set to resume early next month, with the committee planning to summons if necessary a Gupta intermediary who facilitated applications for work permits, business visas and the Guptas's naturalisation.

He's currently out on bail in the Estina dairy farm matter and previously told the inquiry that he will return from India at the end of this month.

Gigaba spent hours in the witness chair being grilled on the role he played in granting citizenship to Gupta family members.

Now the inquiry wants to hear from the former Director-General Mkuseli Apleni, who only gave brief testimony in September.

Apleni has confirmed he will return to the inquiry on 4 December.

Committee chairperson Hlomani Chauke says MPs really want to hear from Gupta intermediary Ashu Chawla.

Chawla's lawyers now say they are not available to accompany him to the inquiry early next month.

“Parliament can’t be held at ransom because of his lawyers' non-availability. Chawla will have to appear. Once we’ve issued a summons we will drag him kicking and screaming, he must appear before this committee.”

Chauke says if necessary, Gigaba could be called again to clarify issues that may be raised in testimony given by Apleni and Chawla.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)