Home Affairs Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize is not happy that South Africans are very rude, impolite and offended with the Gupta family.
Mkhize expressed a deep concern with the way the Guptas are being treated while she was being grilled by security cluster ministers about the family’s controversial citizenship.
Answering a question from EFF MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi, who asked the minister the “exceptional business circumstances” that compelled the Home Affairs to grant the Indian family citizenship, she said the Gupta’s huge investment in the country was why they were granted citizenship.
Backing up her claims, Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize asserted that it’s on record that the Gupta family had up to 7000 permanent employees at their companies and that their companies were among the biggest in the country.
But the EFF members disagreed, saying that the family’s businesses are not genuine because they looted state-owned firms, including PRASA, Transnet, SAA, Eskom, and others.
Weighing in, DA MP Haniff Hoosen asked the minister if she will revoke the family’s citizenship since they are planning to relocate to Dubai and selling their businesses.
Mkhize replied: “No. We have looked at this issue. There are processes, you can’t go by hearsay. There is no information that they are no longer investing in South Africa.”
In their respective responses, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen and Agang MP Andries Tlouamma expressed dissatisfaction with the minister’s answers.
An apparently irritated Tlouamma added: “It seems everybody is under their control”.
There have been mixed reactions in the country since it emerged that former Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba granted the Gupta citizenship in 2015 after the department officials initially rejected their applications.
The ‘shady’ deal was first publicized by EFF leader Julius Malema sometime in June. The first document Malema posted at the time showed that an official at the department signed and indicated that their applications were not approved because they have not complied with the residential requirements needed for naturalization. The second document was Gigaba’s writing, indicating that he has waived the requirements.
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Although Gigaba’s gesture earned him criticism, he insisted that similar courtesies had been extended to prominent businessmen, including executives of multinationals and sports people.
— POWER987News (@POWER987News) June 13, 2017
South African citizenship through naturalization sits in the same legal position as those who freeborn.
Citizenship by naturalization cannot be revoked unless there’s evidence that the decision to grant that citizenship was flawed.