Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs has rescheduled an item on the naturalisation of the Gupta family to Wednesday due to time constraints.
The committee was scheduled to receive a detailed report from the Parliamentary Legal Services on the initial information it had gathered and whether there were grounds to institute a full inquiry into the matter.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has consistently stuck to his story that his department would not give the Guptas special treatment.
When Gigaba appeared before Parliament he said that Ajay and Atul Gupta were not South African citizens.
But a copy of Atul’s South African passport was almost immediately circulated on social media. Gigaba then said he made a mistake – Atul was indeed a South African, but not Ajay because he was not prepared to give up his Indian citizenship.
Gigaba suddenly fell ill when he later had to respond to allegations that he had given the Guptas preferential treatment in his previous term as minister of home affairs.
Ajay and his family previously applied for citizenship in 2014 but were unsuccessful.
The decision was then overturned by Gigaba, who said there were exceptional circumstances that existed at the time.
He said this included the fact that the Guptas were providing thousands of people with jobs and investing in the country.
Acting chairperson of the portfolio committee on home affairs, Donald Gumede, said that the committee remained committed to seeing the matter to conclusion.
“The committee wants to interrogate the matter thoroughly hence the need to give the item adequate time for a proper consideration,” he said about the postponement.
Meanwhile, City Press reported in March this year that the Gupta brothers had each been provided with a plethora of South African passports.
Read: The Guptas’ passport bonanza
City Press’ sister newspaper Rapport obtained copies of computer records from the home affairs department which confirmed that Atul Gupta had three valid South African passports.
His brother, Rajesh, had six.
These did not include passports that had already expired or been lost.
Ajay Gupta’s wife, Chetali, had three.
On November 3, when there were widespread calls for the Guptas to be prosecuted and the National Prosecuting Authority was preparing to freeze their assets, the Home Affairs issued two passports to Rajesh on the same day.
Both passports were maxi-passports with 48 pages, instead of the ordinary 32 pages. In addition, both passports were issued on the same day they applied – something done only under very special circumstances.