The department of home affairs, while continuing to insist that the naturalisation of Gupta family members was done within the ambit of the law, has conceded that "it was an omission" to not openly declare the naturalisation to Parliament.
The Economic Freedom Fighters last week revealed that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, in his previous capacity as minister of home affairs, waved the residential requirements for the applications of Ajay Gupta, his wife Shivani, mother Angoori, and sons Kamal Kant Singhala and Surya Kant Singhala, for naturalisation and granted it to them early.
Gigaba has since confirmed this, but denies any wrongdoing, and has complained of a campaign against him.
But, according to Democratic Alliance MP, and spokesperson on home affairs, Haniff Hoosen, failure to table the naturalisation in Parliament is a breach of law.
"By failing to table the Guptas' citizenship in Parliament, Gigaba has breached the Executive Members Ethics Act, which imposes on ministers the requirement 'to meet all the obligations imposed on them by law'," said Hoosen, according to a statement released on Friday.
Home affairs director general Mkuseli Apleni issued a document, outlining the process followed in the Guptas' naturalisation, to the portfolio committee on home affairs.
"The process which was followed to grant the naturalisation was according to the legislation and regulations which govern both the immigration and civil services," concludes Apleni's letter.
However, the letter also states that "it was an omission on the part of the department not to table the names. The department is in preparation for tabling of outstanding names."
But Hoosen was not appeased.
"Cleary, Minister Gigaba was acting to hide the truth that he had personally granted the Guptas citizenship," he said.
He pointed out that, according to section 5(9)(b) of the South African Citizenship Act 88 of 1995 5(9)(b), the minister must, "within 14 days after the commencement of the sittings of Parliament in each year", table in Parliament the names of persons granted citizenship because of "exceptional circumstances", and must include the reasons for the early granting of citizenship.
"Gigaba failed to table the names of the Guptas, as confirmed by the director general, and which the DA can confirm after scrutinising the tablings from that period.
"There is mounting evidence that Minister Malusi Gigaba, his ANC Cabinet colleagues and President Jacob Zuma have bent the rules to benefit the Guptas across the board," said Hoosen. -- News24