Committee Defer Minister Gigaba’s Testimony

Parliament� The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has resolved to defer the testimony to be given by Minister of Home Affairs Mr Malusi Gigaba on the process followed by the department in naturalising the Gupta family to a later date. Once a new date is confirmed the Minister will be informed.

The committee has over the past two days listened to various departmental officials on the processes they followed in processing a successive number of applications by the Gupta family. The committee had set aside three days to complete this work but has unfortunately had to extend the lifespan of the inquiry and postpone Minister Gigaba's evidence for various reasons.

Firstly, the committee considers it a prerequisite that it must interrogate the administrative part of the process before it can look at the political decisions made by the Executive Authority. This is based on a simple fact that before a political decision is made an extensive administrative process would have been undertaken which guides the political decision. The committee has not been able to complete interrogating this initial phase, hence the need to defer the following stage of the process.

The former accounting authority, Mr Mkhuseli Apleni, who is no longer in the employ of the department had requested only one day's leave from his current employer and could not finish giving evidence yesterday. The Committee resolved to call him to finish his testimony at a later stage. Mr Apleni, as the Accounting Officer, was the final arbiter of the administrative part of the process thus his testimony must be concluded if the committee is to reach an informed decision at the end.

Also, the committee has struggled to reach Mr Ashu Chawla, a central figure in the application process by the Gupta family. The Committee was informed by his lawyer that Mr Chawla is in India until the end of November. The Committee considers evidence from Mr Chawla as integral in understanding the processes followed in this application. As a result, the committee has committed to continuous engagements with his lawyers to facilitate Mr Chawla's appearance before the committee.

The committee appreciates the assurance of the eagerness by the Minister to assist the committee to do its work despite the deferment. The Committee Chairperson will consult with the House Chairperson responsible for committees to set aside the earliest convenient time to conclude this investigation.

The committee remains committed to reaching finality on this matter.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa