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Parly committee refers Gupta naturalisation matter to Zondo Inquiry

The committee was tasked with probing how the Indian family acquired early South African naturalisation when some members did not meet the requirements.

FILE: Ajay Gupta. Credit: YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Parliament's home affairs portfolio committee says its findings in the Gupta naturalisation inquiry will be referred to the Zondo Commission for further investigating.

The committee was tasked with probing how the Indian family acquired early South African naturalisation when some members did not meet the requirements.

It made several findings, including that the application by Ajay Gupta was fraudulent and that the family did not comply with the requirements to forgo their Indian citizenship.

The committee has recommended revoking the Gupta family's citizenship and tightening the relevant legislation.

Speaking on the Karima Brown Show on Monday night, committee chair Hlomani Chauke said: “This matter does not end with the portfolio committee, it will have to be processed by other commissions that we’ve been working with. From the start of this inquiry, we’ve been working with the Zondo Commission in supporting some of the reports and documents and that’s why we made the recommendation that this matter be brought before that commission to conclude them. Parliament has not been able to conclude some of the work that we’ve been doing.”

GIGABA'S ROLE

On Monday, the committee said the naturalisation process for members of the Gupta family was fraudulent and should be reviewed.

Members of Parliament also recommended criminal proceedings be followed.

The committee complained that its probe into the Gupta naturalisation matter should have been concluded much earlier.

Parliamentarians last week said they were struggling to get hold of Gupta associate Ashu Chawla.

Chawla was the alleged mastermind behind the Gupta’s naturalisation and entry into South Africa.

Chawla, through his lawyer, had earlier demanded that Parliament pay for a business class air ticket for him to travel from India to South Africa so he could appear before the committee.

During the committee’s probe into the matter last year, former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba's relationship with the Gupta family came under the spotlight and whether he facilitated state capture by granting the family early naturalisation.

Gigaba described his relationship with the family as strictly professional.

The former minister told MPs that just because he interacted with the family and attended some of their events, including the controversial Sun City wedding, didn’t mean that he was beholden to them.

Additional reporting by Babalo Ndenze.

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