JOHANNESBURG – The EFF is planning legal action against Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba for granting the Gupta family citizenship while he was home affairs minister.
The achitect of Gupta corruption Mr Malusi Gigaba has unduly granted them South African citizenship. Read for yourself: pic.twitter.com/EZ8MJEHRYh
— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) June 12, 2017
The EFF alleges in a media statement distributed this afternoon that a home affairs official, CG Hlatswayo, writing on behalf of the department’s director-general, Mkhuseni Apleni, informed the applicants they did not qualify to become naturalised South African citizens.
In a letter the party said it obtained from a reliable source (attached below), Hlatswayo is quoted as having told the Gupta family they did not comply with the requirements in terms of section 5(1)(b) of the South African Act 2010.
He gave the main reason for declining their application as the fact that they “did not have five years of physical residence in the Republic of South Africa”.
The EFF disclosed that the family was advised to resubmit their application on December 23, 2015.
They were allegedly told they could only do so on condition that they “do not exceed 90 days outside South Africa for every year in the five years preceding [their] new application and comply with requirements as prescribed in Citizenship Act, Act 17 of 2010 as amended”.
The EFF alleged that in a letter dated May 30, 2015, the former home affairs minister wrote the family a letter in which he reportedly informed the Guptas they had been granted “early naturalisation”. He overturned the decision of his director-general to deny the controversial family’s bid, saying it did not comply with the law.
Gigaba is accused of having stated in that letter: “After careful consideration of the matter, I have decided by the powers vested in me under section 5(9)(a) of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 (Act no 17 of 2010), to wave the residential requirements in regards to your application for naturalisation and grant you early naturalisation.”
That section of the act empowers the minister to grant an early naturalisation certificate “under exceptional circumstance” to an applicant who does not comply with the requirements of section 5(9)(a) of the act.
The party also announced it would be challenging Gigaba’s decision in court, as it did “not believe that in a normal process, implemented in the spirit and letter of our law, the Guptas qualify to be South African citizens”.
“In fact, the country should ban them [the Guptas] from even visiting South Africa altogether due to their corrupt, criminal and immoral conduct,” the statement said.
The EFF says Gigaba’s “favours” need to be corrected and the Guptas, like all foreigners seeking citizenship, should be subjected to due process.
Gigaba granted the family what he called “early naturalisation”.
While the Citizenship Amendment Act allows for this, opposition parties believe it was an abuse of power.