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Gigaba, MPs to go head-to-head over Gupta citizenship

Politics

Cape Town – The portfolio committee on home affairs has resolved to summon Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to account for his role in the naturalisation of the Gupta family while he was a political head of the Home Affairs Department.

Also expected at the meeting planned for next Tuesday is current Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize and director-general Mkuseli Apleni.

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The portfolio committee on home affairs it set to summon Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba to account for his role in the naturalisation of the Gupta family. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

This comes after Apleni and Mkhize snubbed Tuesday's meeting, where the department was expected to brief the meeting on the saga.

Instead, he and Mkhize opted to attend a meeting of the select committee of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) to make briefing on the proposed Border Management Agency.

Efforts by the home affairs committee to have Apleni and Mkhize make a 10-minute presentation did not succeed as committee chairperson Lemias Mashile reported after wards that "they were stuck and can't be with us".

Committee members were unanimous that Gigaba, Mkhize and Apleni be summoned to the next meeting on Tuesday.

"It is almost a command from the house that we should undertake this specific matter coupled now the issue honourable (Haniff) Hoosen raised that we need to invite the minister of finance together with the director-general and the minister of Home Affairs," Mashile said.

But, Hoosen said he was displeased that Mashile's use of the word "invite" as opposed to summon the trio.

EFF's Hlengiwe Hlophe echoed Hoosen's sentiments.

"I agree that they must be here. They don't have a choice," she said.

Other members sang the same from the same hymn book.

"I agree and I would like that we use the word that will be appropriate noting the letter is actually summoning them to appear. It not a matter of inviting them," IFP's Sibongile Nkomo said.

ANC's Maesela Kekana said: "We don't invite them, but we summon them. It must be in bold letters."

The committee's resolution comes almost a week after EFF leader Julius Malema made public letters that showed an apparent interference by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in the granting of citizenship to the business family.

The letters showed Gigaba, as the then home affairs minister, overruled a senior official's refusal to grant the family citizenship when they did not have five years physical residence in the country.

Gigaba has defended his action saying had used the powers granted to him in his previous post, but the EFF has threatened to take to the court to have the Gupta citizenship reversed.

Political Bureau

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