Ajay, left, and Atul Gupta. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Ajay, left, and Atul Gupta. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Parliament’s oversight committee on home affairs will begin quizzing key role-players in the Gupta naturalisation saga next week.

Individuals called to testify include home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, and the department’s former director-general, Mkuseli Apleni, who recently resigned to take up a post in the private sector.

"The committee has concluded the initial phase of the inquiry … collection of all relevant information … and has identified gaps which need to be clarified by certain people to assist the committee to arrive at a conclusion. The investigation will be held from Wednesday to Friday next week," committee chairman Hlomani Chauke said on Tuesday.

The Guptas and their associates, including former president Jacob Zuma and current and former cabinet members, are at the centre of state-capture allegations. The home affairs portfolio committee has been pushing to get to the bottom of the controversial decision by the department to grant some members of the Gupta family South African citizenship.

The committee agreed earlier in 2018 to institute a full-scale inquiry into the matter. In March, Apleni said that of the five Guptas who had applied for naturalisation‚ four were naturalised after they fulfilled the requirement to renounce their Indian citizenship, given that India does not allow dual citizenship.

The exception is Ajay, who "only holds a permanent residence permit". This contradicted the version presented by Gigaba’s predecessor, Hlengiwe Mkhize‚ who previously stated that two Gupta brothers‚ Atul and Ajay‚ were granted citizenship based on their business investments and social partnerships.

Earlier in 2018, DA MP Haniff Hoosen presented documents to other members of the home affairs committee that suggested more than five members of the Gupta family had been naturalised, which contradicted statements by the department.

Said Hoosen at the time: "Minister Gigaba and his department only explained the circumstances surrounding the naturalisation of five Gupta family members, when there [are], in fact, a further six members of the Gupta family that are South African citizens and registered as voters on the Electoral Commission database."

phakathib@businesslive.co.za