Committee chairperson Hlomane Chauke Picture: Facebook
Committee chairperson Hlomane Chauke Picture: Facebook

#GuptaNaturalisation: Parliament mulls subpoena for Chawla

By MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA Time of article published Sep 12, 2018

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Parliament - The parliamentary inquiry probing the early naturalisation of the Gupta family is mulling summoning former Sahara Computers CEO Ashu Chawla to testify before it.

This after the home affairs portfolio committee could not get hold of Chawla to testify before the second phase of the inquiry which started on Tuesday.

Committee chairperson Hlomane Chauke told the inquiry that Chawla, who is a naturalised South African, has been a central person in the facilitation of visas and permits with Home Affairs Department officials.

"We have tried to track him down and we can't get him. Now that he is a South African, we have to find him by the end of this inquiry," Chauke said.

"That person becomes very important for Parliament to understand his activities and involvement with officials of the department," he said.

The only option available for the inquiry, Chauke said, was to issue out a summon and instruct the police to look out for him.

"If we can't find him, the only way is to issue out a summon and ask the SAPS to go look for him and find him. I'm not saying he is a criminal," he explained.

The inquiry is a sequel to an instruction issued by the chairperson of committees Cedric Frolick in June last year ordering several committees to probe allegations of state capture in the wake of Gupta emails.

Minister Malusi Gigaba waived naturalisation requirements to Ajay Gupta family as a group despite his wife Shivani and his mother Angoori not continuously lived in South Africa for five years.

This after the family appealed to Gigaba after their application was rejected, and in their appeal produced their investment and charity work in North West, which was used as the basis of "exceptional circumstances" to grant early naturalisation.

After the family was being granted the naturalisation, Ajay did not renounce his Indian citizenship.

Earlier today, the inquiry received testimonies from Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse's Rudie Heyneke as well as North West Education and Sports Development MEC Sello Lehari and head of department Stephinah Semaswe.

Political Bureau

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