Gigaba: Former ministers must also come to account for Gupta naturalisation

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has told MPs that former ministers of his portfolio should also go to Parliament to account for the early naturalisation of the Guptas.

Gigaba was in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday to answer questions from NCOP MPs, along with two other peace and security ministers.

This, on the same day that the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs agreed to finally hold a full inquiry into the process that led to members of the Gupta family receiving their documents.

READ: 'Only Gigaba can answer' - MPs agree to inquiry into Gupta naturalisation

During a round of supplementary questions on the influx of refugees and asylum seekers to South Africa, Gigaba decided to address the Gupta issue head on in response to Democratic Alliance MP Jacques Julius.

"There was no allegation ever made that the Guptas entered the country, either seeking economic gain or seeking asylum," Gigaba said.

"When they entered around 1992, 93, 94, I think the ministers of home affairs at that time should then be called here to answer what were the reasons provided.

"When they were naturalised in 2002 and 2006, then the ministers of home affairs must come and answer questions about what were the conditions at the time."

EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele heckled Gigaba as he made the suggestion.

"I can only answer for 2015, but that question wasn't asked," he continued. "If that question was asked, I would respond to it."

'No case before the courts'

He then explained the general process for refugees who apply for asylum, including the documentation they required and appearing before an appeals board.

Julius, in an earlier question, had claimed the Guptas were "preferred" in their applications for naturalisation and that the High Court in Pretoria ruled against Gigaba's department in that regard.

Gigaba however, took exception to Julius claiming the court ruled against his department in relation to the Gupta case, accusing him of "deliberately misleading the House."

The case that his department had actually lost, related to a proposed private VIP terminal at OR Tambo International to be run by Fireblade.

Julius was confusing the two issues, he said.

"There is no case before the courts on the Gupta issue," he said.

The portfolio committee meanwhile, met earlier on Tuesday to discuss a series of emails that Democratic Alliance MP Haniff Hoosen had tabled before them.

Hoosen said that there were more Gupta family members who had received citizenship than the five the department first disclosed to the committee.

MPs across the political spectrum agreed it was time to put the matter to bed for good, and would start the process of drawing up a timeline and requesting documents.

Parliament goes on recess this week aand returns the week of April 16.

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