Home Affairs on Gupta family naturalisation

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Home Affairs Department says in order to address the controversy surrounding the status of the Gupta family residency in SA, it had to look at all the people with the Gupta surname who are on the system.

“We found that there are 39 people who are not naturalised, 13 who are naturalised and 10 who were born in South Africa which gives us a total of 62,” Director General Mkuseli Apleni said at a media briefing on Wednesday.

The briefing comes after Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday informed media that the Parliamentary Committee responsible for providing oversight on Home Affairs has accepted the explanation provided by the department on the application of naturalisation for some of the members of the Gupta family.

This comes on the back of claims made in media reports that some members of the Gupta family had been unduly granted South African citizenship by the department.

On Tuesday, Minister Gigaba said the matter involved five people belonging to the Gupta family (Ajay Gupta, Ajay’s wife Shivani , Angoori Gupta and sons  Kamal Singhala and Surya)  who applied for naturalisation in March 2013. Some of them had received permanent residence in 2003 while two of them received it in 2008.

Apleni said four members of the family, excluding Ajay, were naturalised as they fulfilled the requirement to renounce their Indian citizenship. India does not allow dual citizenship and therefore Ajay was not naturalised as he did not renounce his Indian citizenship. Therefore, Ajay is not a citizen of South Africa and only holds a permanent resident permit.

Apleni said although the naturalisation of Ajay’s brother Atul was raised, his naturalisation was not a subject for investigation, as he was naturalised before the tenure of Minister Gigaba. Atul, who arrived in South Africa in 1994, was naturalised in November 2002 having satisfied the ordinary requirements for naturalisation.

The other Gupta brother Rajesh was naturalised in July 2006. Both Atul and Rajesh are in the Independent Electoral Commission’s (IEC) voters’ roll.

The department confirmed that Atul has held several passports over the years with one of them issued from 19 March 2013 to 18 March 2023. - SAnews.gov.za

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