26 June 2017

South Africa: DA Wants Investigation Into 'Minister Gigupta' Extended

Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters Media Express
Malusi Gigaba (file photo).

The Democratic Alliance wants the portfolio committee on home affairs' investigation into state capture to be broadened to include how the Guptas obtained sensitive, confidential state-owned information on some of their loudest critics.

Over the weekend, the #GuptaLeaks revealed that the family had spied on prominent South Africans - including former finance minister Trevor Manuel, his wife and Absa CEO Maria Ramos, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and FirstRand bosses Laurie Dippenaar and GT Ferreira - and had access to their travelling movements.

The EFF responded angrily that Malema was not only spied on by the Guptas, but that they did this with the help of the state.

DA MP and spokesperson on home affairs Haniff Hoosen concurred.

He said on Monday that the fact that chief executive of the Gupta-owned Sahara, Ashu Chawla, had access to sensitive, confidential and private state-held information about Gupta opponents, amounted to criminal conduct.

'Outrageous'

He said much of the data appeared to be of the sort which officials of the department of home affairs, possibly even the minister, could have accessed and handed over to the Guptas.

"Revelations that the Guptas accessed state-held information to spy on opponents only further exposes the Guptas and their acolytes as law-breakers, looters and crooks, who have undermined the sovereignty of our government in collusion with the ANC," said Hoosen.

"It is simply outrageous that the compromised family would 'spy' on South Africans whom they openly declare to be the opponents, and be privy to government information."

The committee last week agreed to summon Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, his successor as minister of home affairs Hlengiwe Mkhize, and director general of home affairs Mkuseli Apleni to the committee on Tuesday to explain how some members of the Gupta family gained naturalisation when Gigaba was still minister of home affairs.

Hoosen now has his eyes set on garnering some more information.

"Minister 'Gigupta' must account for how the Guptas accessed this sensitive and private information, much of which is home affairs data, while he was minister of home affairs," he said.

"Gigupta must provide a full and satisfactory account as to how and why this information got out, so that we can ensure those responsible face the full might of the law."

Investigations

Hoosen said he would also request that the committee's chairperson Lemias Mashile add "this new Gupta scandal" to the ongoing committee investigation into the capture of home affairs officials and ministry by the Guptas.

Last week, house chairperson Cedric Frolick tasked several committees, including the portfolio committee on home affairs, with conducting investigations into the Gupta leaks.

"Just last week, the DA also confirmed that Minister Gigupta did not declare to Parliament the naturalisation of members of the Gupta family and, in so doing, breached the Citizenship Act," said Hoosen.

"Gigaba is clearly attempting to bury the truth that the Guptas were personally granted citizenship by him. On top of the accusations that such sensitive information, which appears to be home affairs data, was leaked to the Guptas on Gigaba's watch, this shows how captured a minister he really is."

Source: News24

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