NEWS

Dear Tony Gupta, I Have Top Secret Clearance ...

“Kindly find attached copy of my resumé and note that I have been vetted by SSA for top secret clearance and awaiting my evaluation."

02/06/2017 13:14 SAST | Updated 02/06/2017 15:17 SAST
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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA MAY 31: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT): President Jacob Zuma tables the Presidency budget vote in the National Assembly on May 31, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. Zuma has reiterated government's commitment to secure energy certainty for the country. (Photo by)

A senior official at the Department of Home Affairs in Cape Town sent Rajesh "Tony" Gupta his CV -- and a certificate declaring he has top secret clearance.

According to copies of emails to which City Press has access, Sagie Mudley, head of inspectorate (immigration) in Cape Town, sent a message to Gupta on the morning of November 27, 2015 saying: "Kindly find attached copy of my resumé and note that I have been vetted by SSA (State Security Agency) for top secret clearance and awaiting my evaluation. If you require any further information and clarity please don't hesitate to call me".

Rajesh Gupta, the younger of the Gupta brothers, emerges as quite a power-broker in much of the correspondence. It appears he played the role of fixer between Atul Gupta, companies in the Oakbay Group, and government departments like home affairs and the presidency, often being the primary contact in correspondence.

According to Nomzamo Mnyaka, a chief director at home affairs, Mudley is in charge of immigration at Cape Town International Airport. Mnyaka was listed as a reference on Mudley's CV sent to Gupta, and told HuffPost South Africa Mudley "is a good civil servant who has never had any trouble". Mudley describes himself as "a highly-motivated public service professional, skilled in administration, networking and relationship development".

Mudley again emailed Gupta less than two months later, seemingly triumphant after his top secret clearance was approved: "Dear Sir: please find attached security clearance. Thank you."

Attached to the message to Gupta is a confidential security clearance certificate, issued by the Department of State Security, with a clearance number and signed by CM Mavata, director: domestic branch. There are also two letters by Mavata, both addressed to the provincial home affairs manager confirming Mudley's top secret clearance.

The Guptas have in the last week been accused of trying to influence immigration officials unduly. Various emails indicate that they have tried to have associates and friends receive preferential treatment from home affairs.

Mkuseni Apleni, home affairs director general, wasn't immediately available for comment. He did however earlier confirm to 702's Barry Bateman that the department was investigating all allegations pertaining to the department.