Gigaba did not abuse power when granting Gupta family early naturalisation - PP

Malusi Gigaba was Home Affairs minister when members of the controversial Gupta family became naturalised South Africans, in violation of the country's laws.

Former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: @SAgovnews/Twitter

Editors' note: This article incorrectly stated that the Public Protector said Malusi Gigaba abused his power when approving it. This error was made in a media summary and has since been corrected by the Public Protector's office. We apologise for the error.

JOHANNESBURG - The public protector on Monday found that former minister Malusi Gigaba breached the executive ethics code and misrepresented facts when dealing with the Gupta family naturalisation saga during his tenure as leader of the home affairs department. But he did not abuse his power when approving it.

This is contained in a report following an investigation into violations of the Constitution - concerning the South African Citizenship Act - after complaints filed by two people including Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president Floyd Shivambu alleging that Gigaba failed to comply with several requirements of the law.

It is among eight reports released by the office of the public protector on Monday.

Although the Public Protector’s office observed that Gigaba did not abuse his power when approving the naturalisation as he relied on inaccurate information provided by officials, it made other adverse findings against him.

Gigaba breached the executive ethics code when he failed to submit the names of naturalised individuals to Parliament every year while serving as home affairs minister – a practice whose prevalence the public protector says she has noted with concern.

Although the complaint was not related to Minister Naledi Pandor, even she failed to act in line with the said section under the SA Citizenship Act when she was home affairs minister between 2012 and 2014.

The report also found that Gigaba misrepresented facts to the public in 2018 when he informed the media that Atul and Ajay Gupta were not South African citizens.

Although he corrected this the next day, the Public Protector said his actions broke public trust and contravened part of Parliament's ethics code.

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