POLITICS
08/03/2018 05:18 SAST | Updated 08/03/2018 05:18 SAST

Gigaba on Gupta Citizenship: Oops, What I Meant Was...

After a public outcry, Gigaba on Wednesday said he "erroneously" said Atul is not a South African citizen.

REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
Former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivers his budget address at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa February 21, 2018.

The pressure continues to pile onto Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba due to his ties with the Guptas.

Minutes before the National Assembly heard on Wednesday that he could not answer questions because he was ill, DA MP Haniff Hoosen issued a statement saying he was going to bring a substantive motion against Gigaba on Thursday.

He wants to ask that Gigaba "be referred to the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members Interests for misleading Parliament and the nation about [the] Gupta naturalisation" process.

This followed widespread confusion about Atul Gupta's citizenship after Gigaba said on Tuesday that he was not a South African citizen while he was explaining why the fugitive Ajay Gupta's wife, mother and two sons were granted citizenship despite not fulfilling the usual residential requirements.

After a public outcry, Gigaba on Wednesday said he "erroneously" said Atul is not a South African citizen.

READ: EFF: Gigaba An "Unpatriotic Pathological Liar"

"It should come as no surprise that Minister Gigaba is being selective with the truth. On 28 February, the DA moved a substantive motion calling for Gigaba to be referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Ethics based on the Fireblade judgment," said Hoosen.

He was referring to a court judgment from December that found Gigaba had "deliberately told untruths under oath". The court also found that Gigaba violated the Constitution.

The judgment followed a court battle launched by Fireblade Aviation, owned by the Oppenheimer family, in November 2016 against the Department of Home Affairs and others.

The application sought to have the court declare that approval for a terminal at OR Tambo International Airport - allegedly granted by Gigaba in early 2016 while he was still minister of home affairs - could not be revoked. It is alleged that Gigaba revoked the approval he originally granted under pressure from the Guptas.

While Gigaba was minister of public enterprises he restructured several state-owned enterprises' boards, loading them with alleged Gupta associates.

He would have to explain his actions in this regard to the portfolio committee on public enterprises' investigation into state capture. The committee on Wednesday gave him 10 days to prepare for this inquisition.

Gigaba was due to appear before the committee on Tuesday, but sent a letter to the chair Zukiswa Rantho on Friday March 2, requesting an extension.

The committee members accepted his request, and gave him ten days from Wednesday.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa shuffled his cabinet last Monday, Gigaba survived while others connected to the Guptas, like Des van Rooyen, Lynne Brown, Mosebenzi Zwane and Faith Muthambi, got the chop.

Gigaba was however moved from treasury to home affairs.

-- News24