Johannesburg - There are more questions being raised about the Gupta brothers’ citizenship following reports that they are registered voters.
The Guptas are registered voters at a local primary school close to their home in the affluent suburb of Saxonworld – this is despite statements by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba that the brothers were not South African citizens.
On Tuesday, Gigaba held a press briefing where he denied that Atul and Ajay Gupta were South African citizens and that they actually had permanent residency permits. Gigaba said Ajay Gupta’s mother, two children and wife were granted citizenship.
He said Ajay refused to renounce his Indian citizenship and that’s why he was not be granted a South African citizenship. But following Gigaba’s address a series of online posts on social media revealed what seemed to be ID’s and passports belonging to the Gupta family.
These posts disproved the notion that the Gupta brothers were not South African citizens as Gigaba claimed.
IEC deputy chairperson Terry Tselane said on Talk Radio 702 that it was impossible for someone who was not a citizen to be a registered voter and that the fact that the brothers were registered means they are indeed citizens.
"No one can be a voter if they are not a citizen. Atul Gupta is on the voter roll and so he must be a citizen. It is impossible to be on our system and not be a citizen. I trust our system. We check it against the population registration,” said Tselane.
Opposition parties are again calling for Gigaba to be fired for being a liar.
The EFF wants Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate the status of the Gupta brothers’ citizenship, but they also want her to focus on Gigaba’s role in the matter.
South Africa, Malusi Gigaba is a pathological LIAR, and surrounded by conmen and imposters who deliberately mislead South Africans. The Guptas (Atul, Ajay, Atul) are South African citizens with South African passports and the 2 even registered to vote with the @IECSouthAfrica. pic.twitter.com/luFYUD3rRi
The party has accused Gigaba of misleading Parliament on the status on the Guptas’ citizenship and for this he should be removed from cabinet.
The DA said it was not surprised by Gigaba’s lies as a High Court judgment issued last month proved that Gigaba was capable of lying even to the court. Minister of International Relations Lindiwe Sisulu said she was surprised that the brothers were not citizens, as Gigaba claimed, because she was told they are.
She also said although the brothers had fled the country, there was a way of getting them back to answer to charges.