Cape Town - Members of the Gupta family, who left South Africa after being implicated in state capture amounting to billions of rands, have applied to have their South African passports renewed. The new passports have not yet been issued to the applicants and are reportedly being held in Pretoria on the orders of Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
The news has sparked hope that at least some members of the family, who enjoy close ties to former president Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane, will appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's commission of inquiry to answer questions about their alleged role in looting billions from South African government entities.
"Collecting their new passports in Pretoria is the perfect opportunity for members of the Gupta family to return to South Africa and appear before the Zondo Commission to answer to the allegations levelled against them for their involvement in the ANC’s state capture project," says DA Shadow Minister of Home Affairs, Joe McGluwa .
"Home Affair Minister Aaron Motsaledi’s decision to place the new passports in a safe in Pretoria does not inspire confidence, he must tell us on what legal basis is he withholding the passports. The law should be followed in this matter. We are all well aware that his predecessor, Minister Malusi Gigaba, irregularly, if not illegally, fast-tracked the naturalisation of members of the Gupta family. However, this is but one allegation that can be ironed out before the Zondo Commission," McGluwa said.
The DA said it would submit written questions to Minister Motsoaledi via Parliament to provide a clear explanation of his decision to withhold the Guptas' passports.