Editorial | Guptas, associates must lose citizenship

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It has taken almost two years for parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs to figure out how the Gupta family succeeded in qualifying so easily for SA citizenship.
We reported on Tuesday that the inquiry is finally complete and that the committee has recommended the infamous family at the centre of the country’s state capture saga be stripped of their citizenship altogether. The committee also recommended – rightly so – that the citizenship of Ashu Chawla be revoked.
Chawla is the Gupta right-hand man and fixer who managed to scuttle off to India despite being on bail at the time, thus failing to provide the committee with any useful information.
Thankfully they didn’t really need his help to come up with clear evidence of fraud and corruption in the handling of the application process for the early naturalisation of the Guptas and also in the liberal illegal issuing of visas for Gupta company employees from India.
We, like the committee, believe Chawla and members of the Gupta family should be criminally charged for submitting patently false information to back up the applications at the time.
And, though the committee cannot actually enforce any of its recommendations, we have sufficient faith those involved will eventually get their comeuppance.
We do find it disappointing that the committee stopped short of directly taking on Malusi Gigaba, the former home affairs minister who so obviously enabled the preferential treatment the family had received from the department.
Gigaba resigned as minister and then as an ANC MP after being caught lying to the public protector in a matter relating to the Fireblade Aviation debacle. It was either that or be called before parliament’s ethics committee.
Despite the Constitutional Court upholding a ruling he had lied under oath, “Mr Gigabyte” once more finds himself on the ANC's list for the National Assembly in the upcoming elections. Being quite high up on the list, there is a very good chance he will once more become an MP – only there is no clarity on whether he could be made to face the music this time.

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