Five things that raise questions about Guptas’ citizenship award
Katharine Child | 2017-06-13 12:54:30.0
Billionaire businessman and newspaper publisher Atul Gupta at the New Age offices.
Image by: Kevin Sutherland
It helps to have friends in high places.
Malusi Gigaba purportedly granted early citizenship to Atul Gupta and his family when Gigaba was home affairs minister‚ according to documents leaked by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.
Here are five things about the leaked documents that raise more questions than answers.
These anomalies would have to be explained by home affairs‚ if the EFF goes to court to have the Guptas’ citizenship revoked‚ according to one immigration practitioner interviewed by TimesLIVE.
1. The letter from Gigaba granting Atul and his family citizenship appears to be vague and does not name the people being granted citizenship. Citizenship documents are very specific and name the individual‚ said immigration practitioner Leon Isaacson.
2. The letter grants the whole family citizenship. “The law does not make provision for this.” Citizenship is given to individuals‚ said Isaacson.
3. Atul Gupta’s elderly mother is included in the same application. As she is not part of the direct nuclear family‚ her application would be linked to her son’s‚ but it would be separate. It would not be included in the same application for citizenship.
4. The dates on the letters denying citizenship and then granting it are confusing. The letters suggest that applications were made in 2013‚ representations given to home affairs in 2014 and then denial in 2015.
Usually the chance to appeal is 14 days. The different dates on the letters and the application spanning almost two years suggested some kind of anomaly‚ said Isaacson.
5. The approval letter suggests that the Guptas needed to stay in the country for five years but when they were denied citizenship‚ the law had changed and required a presence of 10 years.
If the EFF does ask the courts to intervene‚ a court would need to be satisfied with the reasons given by home affairs for the unusual waiving of the requirements for citizenship‚ said Isaacson.