- Sunday newspapers are reporting that South Africa’s minister of home affairs has begun the process to strip Ajay Gupta of his permanent reseidency
- If he loses this residence status, Gupta will lose his South African ID document and his ability to open a bank account or apply for a loan in the country
- The past week has seen seemingly contradictory statements to the media about the Gupta brothers’ South African citizenship
Briefly.co.za gathers that Malusi Gigaba, South Africa’s minister of home affairs, reportedly had some explaining to do this week when he met with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The past week has seen Gigaba making statements about the citizenship of members of the Gupta family, especially Ajay Gupta, who is on the run from authorities having been declared a fugitive by the Hawks.
During a press briefing Gigaba insisted that neither Atul, nor Ajay are citizens of South Africa but rather had been granted permanent residence status.
Gigaba said they could not be naturalised as South Africans due to their refusing to denounce their Indian citizenship from their country of origin since India does not allow dual citizenship.
However, director general of home affairs Mkuseli Apleni, contradicted Gigaba’s statement the day after he had made it, saying the Guptas were naturalised way before Gigaba’s tenure as home affairs minister.
It was also reported this week that at least one of the Gupta brothers’ name appeared on the voter's roll as being registered to vote in the next general elections.
Gigaba has since claimed that their might have been some confusion regarding the names of the brothers.
Gigaba has reportedly now instructed Apleni to investigate how the Guptas obtained their permanent residency status, while also seeking legal advice on how to go about revoking it.
The Guptas whereabouts currently remain officially unknown although reports from India indicate they may well be back in the country of their birth.