The rules of the electoral commission are clear. In order for one to be eligible to vote in government elections‚ one needs to be a South African citizen.
Well‚ Atul Gupta — of whom minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba vehemently denies he was given South African citizenship — appears on the South African voters roll‚ meaning he has satisfied all requirements to be a South African citizen.
On Wednesday‚ TimesLIVE performed a check on his identity number and received an sms from the IEC‚ saying he was registered to vote at the Saxonwold Primary School.
The newly re-appointed Home Affairs minister however maintained that the Gupta brothers were not given citizenship. He stated their application for citizenship was null and void because “they had not renounced their citizenship of India“.
In an interview on 702 talk radio‚ vice chairperson of the IEC Terry Tselane said there was no way that the appearance of the Gupta brother on the voters roll could be a mistake.
“It is not possible for a person to be on the voters roll without them being a South African citizen‚” he said‚ explaining that their system was checked against the population registration.
Responding to questions before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday‚ Gigaba said Atul was not part of a group who had applied for citizenship‚ adding that Atul “had never applied”.
According to Immigration Consulting South Africa’s website‚ permanent residents cannot obtain a South African passport but contained in thousands of #GuptaLeaks emails is a copy of Atul’s South African passport. The date of issue is July 31‚ 2015‚ and the document is valid for 10 years.
“The status of permanent resident does not affect the holder’s citizenship. The permanent resident can obtain a South African identity book endorsed as “non-citizen“‚ but not a South African passport‚” the website reads.
Gigaba’s spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said in response to queries over the apparent contradiction‚ that Gigaba had not vocalised his meaning properly.
“Minister Gigaba was saying that Atul never applied to him [for citizenship]. Which is a fact.
“No matter their status‚ any court ruling that determines guilt will afford us the grounds to revoke status‚” he said.