ACCOUNTABILITY AT THE HEART OF TRUST
Article by: Dumisane Dube
The Office of the Public Protector has cleared former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba of claims that he abused his powers to favour the Gupta family.
The Public Protector presented various reasons behind its findings that former Minister Gigaba did not abuse his powers by granting the Gupta family early naturalisation .
The investigation followed a complaint by EFF MP Floyd Shivambu that Gigaba abused his position when he granted early naturalisation to the Gupta family.
Melusi was accused of using his position in the office to assist the Gupta family to Acquire South African citizenship.
It was recorded that Rajesh Gupta entered the country on 22 April 1998 and naturalized in 2006 and Ajay Gupta entered the country on 08 May 1999 and granted permanent residence in 2008.
“The Public Protector found that former Minister Gigaba did not abuse the powers he was afforded in terms of the South African Citizenship Amendment Act, 2010 when granting certificates of early naturalisation to his alleged acquaintances, Mr Ajay Gupta and family, without proper validation of the requisite exceptional circumstances,” stated Mkhwebane’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has, however, found that Gigaba breached Parliament’s Executive Ethics Code in the naturalisation by failing to give out names of persons who were granted citizenship under exceptional circumstances in terms of the SA Citizenship Act.
Five family members were granted naturalisation.
Public protector Mkhwebane has recommended that the Home Affairs Director-General take action against officials who were involved in the naturalisation of the family, for their failure to exercise due diligence.
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