The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has resolved to invite the Minister, the former Minister and the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs to give facts on the naturalisation process of the Gupta family. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 26 June 2017.
Prior to the instruction from the House Chairperson: Committees, Mr Cedric Frolick, the Committee had already initiated a process to engage the department on the matter, because it considered the matter to be in the public interest. The resolution also responds to the call to expedite the probe into the issue.
The Committee wishes to put on record that the Minister and Director-General had already indicated that they had a prior arrangement with the Select Committee on Social Services and had tendered apologies for today’s meeting. Despite this, the Committee had hoped that they could address the matter of process before their engagement with the Select Committee.
The Committee accepts that this was not possible, but expects their attendance at next week’s meeting. Regarding the invitation to the Minister of Finance (the former Minister of Home Affairs), the Committee will seek legal advice in order to ensure that any interrogation of the issue is done as per the prescripts of National Assembly rules and within the parameters of the law.
The legal advice is sought primarily because Rule 89 of the recently adopted ninth edition of the Rules of the National Assembly prevents members from “reflecting upon the merits of any matter on which a judicial decision in a court of law is pending”.
The legal advice sought does not include the invitation to the current Minister of Home Affairs and the Director-General, because what is required from them is information on the process followed during the naturalisation application. It does not go to the merits of the decision to approve the application, which rests with the previous Minister. The Committee also has oversight over the department.
The Committee is committed to urgently deal with the matter.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Mr Lemias Mashile