The Home Affairs Department has clarified that Atul Gupta is, in fact, a South African citizen but explains the request for naturalisation happened before Malusi Gigaba was a minister.
On Tuesday, the home affairs minister said neither Atul nor Ajay Gupta held citizenship in this country, causing confusion over the matter.
The minister has since sought to clarify the issue.
I have noted now the confusion has shifted to Atul Gupta and his citizenship, partly because in yesterday’s media briefing I erroneously referred to Atul Gupta in the same breath as Ajay, on the matter I was dealing with in Parliament.— HomeAffairsSA (@HomeAffairsSA) March 7, 2018
This was the matter that was clarified with Home Affairs Portfolio Committee in which all members of the opposition are represented, following which the clarity was accepted by the committee.— HomeAffairsSA (@HomeAffairsSA) March 7, 2018
Upon being notified that they would have to renounce their Indian citizenship, Ajay Gupta chose not to and is therefore not a South African citizen but remains in the country on Permanent Residency status.— HomeAffairsSA (@HomeAffairsSA) March 7, 2018
Let me put it on the record more clearly the matter of Atul Gupta, in my tenure at Home Affairs, I have never received an application from Atul Gupta nor Rajesh Gupta— HomeAffairsSA (@HomeAffairsSA) March 7, 2018
In a briefing Home Affairs DG Mkuseli Apleni said the issue regarding the Guptas' naturalisation process discussed in Parliament only dealt with Ajay.
Karima Brown spoke to Apleni to elaborate on the issue.
If you remember when we went in parliament on 27 June, Gigaba was not here, the letter that was circulated about the citizenship of the Gupta's was talking about Ajay, the mother and the two sons. All we have been dealing with is those five people, there was no issue about Atul which ever came forward as a matter.— Mkuseli Apleni, Home Affairs DG
It was an error because from 27 June, the query about the citizenship had never had to do with Atul.— Mkuseli Apleni, Home Affairs DG
Apleni explains Atul Gupta's citizenship.
Gupta got his citizenship in 2002 but the law of South Africa to deal with the issue of dual citizenship, prior to 2013, the law in South Africa was not changed to say if you are coming from a country which does not accept dual citizenship we can't give it to you. It was only changed in 2013.— Mkuseli Apleni, Home Affairs DG
Atul Gupta applied for his citizenship in 2002, but Ajay applied for his naturalization in 2015, hence that law was implemented on him to say you can't because this is the new law which we have.— Mkuseli Apleni, Home Affairs DG
WATCH: Home Affairs DG clarifies Guptas citizenship
Click on the link below to listen to the full interview....