The Department of Home Affairs has noted media reports alleging that Minister Malusi Gigaba has ignored a legal opinion which expressed a view on the Gupta family citizenship.

We wish to place it on record that earlier this year in March, Minister Gigaba instructed the Director-General to seek legal opinion on the legal circumstances under which the Gupta family’s naturalisation and Mr Ajay Gupta’s permanent residence may be revoked should such a need arise.

The legal opinion was received on May 4, 2018. Given the interest of the Security Cluster on this matter, the Minister and the Director-General subsequently consulted the relevant Security Cluster departments for their views and input. The departments were of the view that it would be ill-advised for the Department of Home Affairs to revoke the Gupta family’s citizenship and Mr. Ajay Gupta’s permanent residence in view of ongoing investigations on them and possible prosecutions.

The Minister accepted this view and believes, as would most South Africans, that it would not serve the national interest to revoke the citizenship and permanent residence status of the Gupta family members before the law enforcement agencies conclude their investigations and make prosecutorial determinations.

Ironically, were he to act contrary to how he has, the people who are publicly agitating for the Department to revoke the Gupta family’s citizenship and permanent residence would in all likelihood accuse the Minister of complicating if not obstructing the work of our country’s law enforcement agencies.

The Department of Home Affairs remains committed to the agreement reached by the Minister and his Security Cluster colleagues and will henceforth refuse to be drawn into a needless public speculation exercise which will not aid the country to resolve the specific task placed at the feet of law enforcement agencies.

For media enquiries contact Thabo Mokgola on 060 962 4982 or David Hlabane on 071 342 4284