EFF statement on Gigaba's acceptance of Gupta's application for naturalisation in South Africa
12 June 2017
The EFF has received reliable information that whilst he was minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba unduly granted the Gupta family South African citizenship. In a letter dated 2015-01-22 the Mr. GG Hlatshwayo on behalf of the Director General correctly denied the Gupta's South African citizenship stating that they "did not comply with the requirement in terms of section 5(1)(b) of the South African Act 2010." He proceeds to indicate that the Gupta's "did not have 5 years of physical residence in the Republic of South Africa".
The application for naturalisation was therefore unsuccessful and the Guptas were advised to make another attempt on 23 December 2015 "provided [they] do not exceed 90 days outside South Africa for every year in the 5 years preceding [their] new application and comply with requirements as prescribed in Citizenship Act, Act 17 of 2010 as amended".
In less than a few months Malusi Gigaba, in a letter dated 2015-05-30, then wrote to the Guptas granting them what he terms "early naturalisation". Gigaba states that "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".
Here the Act states that "the Minister may under exceptional circumstances grant a certificate of naturalisation as South African citizen to an applicant who does not comply with the requirements of [the said] subsection (Ills! relating to residence or ordinary residence in the Republic".
Gigaba has effectively used this clause to make favours to his friends the Gupta family in a situation where there are absolutely no exceptional circumstances to bypass the law. The only exceptional thing enjoyed by the Gupta family is a close relationship with Gigaba. All other ordinary South Africans have to be patient with the law in cases of their foreign spouses who have been resident, uninterruptedly for more than decades.
The EFF has therefore taken a decision to approach its lawyers to take the matter to court so that Gigaba's favours can be corrected and the Guptas, like all other ordinary foreigners who seek citizenship must be subjected to due process. Gigaba's decision was irrational and based on nothing else but his corrupt relationship.
Above all, we must state categorically that we do 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 burn them from even visiting South Africa all together due to their corrupt, criminal and immoral conduct.
Finally, the EFF commends the officials of Home Affairs, in particular Mr. Hlatshwayo who initially subjected the Guptas to due process without fear or favour. The country needs more bureaucrats of this nature; who will not treat rich and influential families with favour.
Issued by Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, National Spokesperson, EFF, 12 June 2017