- A former high-ranking department of home affairs official told MPs he was instructed by Malusi Gigaba’s office to assist in the fast-tracking of visas for the Guptas and their business associates
- Major Kobese a former director at the home affairs department’s foreign office testified in the ongoing Parliamentary inquiry into the early naturalisation of the Guptas on Tuesday
- Kobese said he was contacted directly by Gigaba’s chief of staff Thami Msomi who asked him to assist with the future visa applications of the Guptas and their associates
A former high-ranking official from the department of home affairs told Members of Parliament (MPs) that he was ordered by Minister Malusi Gigaba’s office to assist in the fast-tracking of visa applications for the Guptas and their business associates.
Major Kobese is the former director at the department of home affairs’ foreign office, he was responsible for coordination and support in visa applications during his tenure with the department. Kobese gave damning testimony at the ongoing Parliamentary inquiry into the early naturalisation of the Guptas.
Kobese said he was contacted directly by Gigaba’s chief of staff Thami Msomi who asked him to assist with the future visa applications of the Guptas and their associates from Sahara Computers and Infinity media.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Kobese told MPs that he was specifically asked to assist with the visa application for Ashu Chawla the COO of Sahara. Kobese explained that at the time Msomi made the request there was no pending visa application and the request was for all future applications.
TimesLive.co.za reported that Kobese was told by Msomi that the visa applications were to be attended to with great urgency because of the massive investment the Gupta business empire would be making in South Africa.
Kobese revealed that after he received the instructions from Msomi, he was regularly contacted –usually via email- by Chawla who would often demand visas to be issued on the same day as the application was made.
Kobese told stunned MP’s that his relationship with Chawla did not just magically appear out of nowhere.
Kobese, however, refuted claims that such instructions were out of the ordinary and said it was quite common for the minister’s office to speak directly to staff members instead of going through the director-general’s office.
Kobese pointed out that his job revolved around assisting frustrated applicants or assisting legitimate business people to obtain visas quickly so they can visit the country, this was especially true in cases when those people were experts or bringing big investment opportunities into the country.
Kobese told MPs he had previously done the same fast-tracking on behalf of Eskom to ensure specialist technicians could enter the country to assist with the then failing power grid.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to remove Gigaba and Bathabile Dlamini from his cabinet within the next seven days.
The DA submitted a written request to Ramaphosa to fire Dlamini after the Constitutional Court ordered the NPA to look into possibly prosecuting Dlamini for lying under oath. The court also found Dlamini to have acted recklessly and described her conduct as grossly negligent in the social grants fiasco of 2017.
The DA wants Gigaba removed after the Gauteng North High Court found the minister had deliberately told untruths under oath in his testimony over the Fireblade saga.
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