Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba told the Home Affairs Committee that just because he interacted with the family and attended some of their events it does not mean that he was beholden to them.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN
He says that as a public representative, it is inherent of the role to interact with many stakeholders.
Gigaba told Parliament in a late night sitting of the Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday night, that just because he interacted with the family and attended some of their events, including the controversial Sun City wedding, does not mean that he was beholden to them.
The Democratic Alliance (DA)‘s Haniff Hoosen first got Gigaba’s back up by asking him to describe his relationship with the Gupta family.
“I was trying to say it was not personal like we are buddy-buddies.”
Hoosen then pressed him about invitations that Gigaba accepted from them.
Gigaba said that he attended two Diwali celebrations during his first tenure as Home Affairs Minister – one at their Saxonwold home and another in Lenasia.
But he refused to name other ministers whom he said also attended.
“I would like to answer questions about the naturalisation of the Gupta family members and not stray from the purpose of this inquiry.”
Gigaba has denied receiving calls from the brothers on his personal cellphone and says he’s also never met them outside of South Africa.