Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba finally breaks silence about meeting the Guptas. However, the minister stated clearly that his mission was never to aid the brothers but to foster social cohesion for the country.
Gigaba who was first the Home Affairs Ministry, before he was drafted by the former president Jacob Zuma as the minister of Finance and was subsequently draft back as the minister of Home Affairs by president Cyril Ramaphosa made the sudden disclosure that he visited the Guptas for “social cohesion reasons”, but refuted the assertion that they had influence on him.
Prior to the disclosure, there were speculations that the then Home Affairs minister made it easy for the Gupta brothers to obtain citizenship documents in the country
According to Gigaba:
“During my tenure, I, at no stage, assisted the Gupta family, or any other private interest group, to capture the state,” Gigaba told the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday night.
The committee is holding an inquiry into four members of the Gupta family’s early naturalisation. The committee started listening to testimony at about 10am. Gigaba appeared before the committee shortly after 10pm.
Gigaba said having studied a report of the testimony the committee previously heard: “I am satisfied that it does not implicate me in any wrongdoing.
“It is unfortunate that this issue of the naturalisation of one family, has been used to cast negative aspersions on me,” he said.
The minister noted that he had nothing tying him to the Guptas and the #GuptaLeaks emails.
“All I have read is a paragraph pertaining to my adviser, Mr Thamsanqa Msomi, as well as a distorted email which purports to be an instruction from me sent by an administrator in my office,” Gigaba said.
“Since this issue made the news, I have asked him [Msomi] about the said emails.
He has informed me that he, indeed, received an email from Mr Ashu Chawla, in April 2015, requesting assistance for visas for his clients.”
Gigaba emphasised that he is not in any way connected to the embattled Gupta family.