CAPE TOWN, The Democratic Alliance on Friday called for clarity on Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s reason for putting the Gupta family’s applications for new South African passports on hold in a government safe, recalling that they fled the country in the face of allegations embroiling them in the state capture scandal.

“It is common knowledge that the Guptas fled South Africa as evidence of their involvement in the ANC’s state capture continued to mount,” DA home affairs spokesman Joe McGluwa said.

He added that should they wish to return to South Africa, it should be to appear before the Zondo commission into the rent-seeking scandal to face the allegations of their involvement in it.

“Collecting their new passports in Pretoria is the perfect opportunity for members of the Gupta family to return to South Africa and appear before the Zondo Commission to answer to the allegations levelled against them for their involvement in the ANC’s state capture project.”

Motsoaledi this week confirmed that two members of the family had applied for new passports from Dubai where they are now resident.

The minister said no decision has been taken and their application forms have been locked in a safe, at his instruction. He added that he did not think the department was going to process the applications because “there are too many issues outstanding with the Guptas”.

McGluwa said the DA would submit questions to Motsoaledi as soon as parliament reconvened in the new year to establish his legal reasons for withholding the passports.

“Home Affair Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s decision to place the new passports in a safe in Pretoria does not inspire confidence, he must tell us on what legal basis is he withholding the passports.

“The law should be followed in this matter. We are all well aware that his predecessor, Minister Malusi Gigaba, irregularly, if not illegally, fast-tracked the naturalisation of members of the Gupta family. However, this is but one allegation that can be ironed out before the Zondo Commission.

Source: African News Agency