- Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has explained that he did not act against the Guptas citizenship because this could have prevented future extradition attempts
- Gigaba’s explanation was immediately shot down by Advocate Anton Katz one of the country’s premier extradition law experts
- Katz said extradition laws in South Africa did not make any distinctions between foreign nationals and South African citizens
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has explained his decision not to act on legal advice to start legal proceedings against the Guptas citizenship. Gigaba said he did not want to risk jeopardising any possible future extradition attempts against the Guptas.
Gigaba’s explanation was immediately shot down by Advocate Anton Katz, one of the country’s leading extradition law experts. Katz pointed out that extradition laws in South Africa did not make any distinctions between foreign nationals and South African citizens.
Gigaba reportedly ignored legal advice provided to his office by Advocate Nazeer Cassim which was finalised in May. Cassim recommended that Gigaba and the department challenge the legality of the Guptas citizenship in court.
Briefly.co.za gathered that both Cassim and Gigaba have confirmed the existence and content of the report. Cassim made it clear in his summary that Gigaba had been misled into believing the Gupta family could and would provide a major investment to the South African economy.
News24.com reported that Gigaba admitted in his testimony before Parliament’s inquiry into the granting of early citizenship to the Guptas that he had assumed officials at the department of home affairs had verified the economic contribution the family would make, but he later realised the department did not actually complete due diligence.
Gigaba has repeatedly denied being the person responsible for allowing the Guptas to be naturalised early. Gigaba even pointed out that the Guptas had become official citizens before he was appointed home affairs minister for the first time.
The minister tweeted the following in defence of his decision not to act on the legal advice of Cassim.
Katz pointed out that not only was Gigaba mistaken in his opinion about nationality not affecting extradition the treaty with India specifically makes note that nationality will not be used to refuse extradition of any individual between the two counties.
Katz said most of South Africa’s extradition treaties use the same or similar wording as the treaty with India which in effect nullifies Gigaba’s argument.
The real question is whether Gigaba is really ignorant of extradition laws and treaties or whether he used this as yet another excuse to defend himself from Gupta-linked accusations?
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