Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba dodged accountability on the naturalisation of some members the Gupta family in Parliament on Tuesday.
He and his successor as Minister of Home Affairs, Hlengiwe Mkhize, were due to appear before the portfolio committee on Home Affairs after a meeting last week where many MP’s serving on the committee wanted them “summoned”.
In the end, they were only “invited”.
Gigaba informed the committee that he can’t make it due to “prior commitments” and Mkhize also couldn’t attend, because she is overseas.
Faith Muthambi is acting minister of Home Affairs, and she also couldn’t attend the meeting, because of “prior commitments”.
Opposition MPs were not impressed, but ANC’s enthusiasm to call Gigaba, which was evident a week before, seem to have evaporated.
ANC MP Donald Gumede said on two occasions “Parliament should respect Cabinet”.
“Maybe it’s time for the executive to start respecting the houses of Parliament,” said Freedom Front Plus MP Corné Mulder.
“The disrespect is on the part of the executive,” said DA chief whip John Steenhuisen, attending the committee on behalf of Haniff Hoosen.
“The Constitution doesn’t mention respect. It says accountability.”
The meeting continued with Home Affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni outlining the process of naturalisation.
The Economic Freedom Fighters the week before last revealed that Gigaba waved the residential requirements for the applications of Ajay Gupta, his wife Shivani, mother Angoori, and sons Kamal Kant Singhala and Surya Kant Singhala, for naturalisation and granted it to them early.
Gigaba said he did nothing wrong and Apleni last week sent a letter to the portfolio committee outlining the process followed in the naturalisation of the Gupta family members, concluding that everything was done by the book.
The letter, however, admitted that the naturalisation was never tabled in parliament.
According to Hoosen failure to table the naturalisation in Parliament is a breach of the law.
The meeting continues. –News24