Decision on Gupta citizenship inquiry will happen - just not right now

Atul Gupta.
Atul Gupta.
Image: Kevin Sutherland

Parliament is determined to hold a full inquiry into how the home affairs department granted the controversial Gupta South African citizenship - MPs just aren’t sure when it will take place.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening‚ the portfolio committee on home affairs said it had resolved earlier to make a final decision on the need to undertake a full inquiry “later in the year”‚ most likely in August or soon after.

The committee had expected to make a decision on Wednesday‚ the statement said‚ but was told that the parliamentary legal services needed more time to gather further information that would guide the decision to hold the inquiry.

But this delay didn’t mean that the full inquiry was off the table.

Committee chair Hlomani Chauke said: “In principle‚ the decision to hold a full inquiry still holds. What the committee is awaiting is comprehensive information on the matter. The information required is with the Department of Home Affairs and dates back to the initial application in 1995. The report will also include recommendation on the format that the inquiry must take. We will receive this report during the next session of Parliament‚ which is scheduled for August 2018.”

Other information would include the apparent “corporate social responsibility initiatives” the family had provided to support their application for “early naturalisation under exceptional circumstances”.

“The committee remains committed to dealing with the matter and laying bare all processes that were undertaken to ensure that all procedures within the department were followed‚” the statement said.

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