Tuesday 18 December 2018
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iol - 1 month ago

How the Guptas, Fireblade and a sex tape sank #MalusiGigaba

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba tendered his resignation on Tuesday, less than two weeks after the public protector found he had violated the Constitution and Executive Ethics Code by lying under oath.
The finding by the public protector related to Gigaba’s decision to overturn the approval for the Oppenheimer-owned Fireblade Aviation to operate a private customs and immigration service at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
The finding came after a high court in February this year found that he had lied under oath and violated the Constitution by reneging on the approval.
Just last week, Gigaba defended his actions, insisting he would not resign but has now done an about-turn. Gigaba s career in politics has been mired in controversy in recent years. Here are some of the most notable highs and lows: Political career Gigaba joined the ANC and the South African Communist Party in 1990 while a student at the University of Durban Westville. In 1999 he was sworn in as an ANC MP but resigned after two years. He was again elected as a Member of Parliament in 2004. Until October 2010 Gigaba served as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs. In November 2010 he was appointed Minister of Public Enterprises, replacing Brigitte Mabandla. This appointment put him in control of state-owned entities such as Eskom and Transnet. In yet another cabinet reshuffle by Jacob Zuma in May 2014 Gigaba was appointed the Minister of Home Affairs. It was during this period that he used his ministerial prerogative to waive the requirements for naturalisation for a number of Gupta families. The decision would later come back to haunt him when the family became the central figures in the state capture drama which has gripped the South African political scene. During the same period, Gigaba became embroiled in the Fireblade saga which saw the Oppenheimer family engage in a protracted legal battle with Gigaba and the government over their VVIP terminal. In March 2017, then-president Zuma reshuffled his cabinet yet again, moving Gigaba to the finance ministry where he replaced Pravin Gordhan. This move was widely speculated to be part of Zuma s strategy to advance the cause of the Guptas, who Zuma enjoys a close relationship with. On May 27 this year, Gigaba was shifted back to the home affairs ministry. Sex video Earlier this month, Gigaba revealed that a video of a sexual nature, which was stolen when his cellphone was hacked in 2016/2017 had been used in an attempt to blackmail him and is now circulating among politicians. In a series of tweets, Gigaba claimed that the 13 -second video, in which the minister is seen playing with his penis with his hand while saying: “Imagine if this is in your mouth , was first used to try and blackmail him when he was appointed finance minister in March 2017. According to Gigaba, he rebuffed the attempt and reported the incident to the relevant authorities. Gigaba apologised to his family for the embarrassment which they may suffer as a result of the video which he says was meant for our eyes only . Gigaba pinky Gigaba came under fire last week after he was captured waving his pinky finger at EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi in the National Assembly during a question and answer session by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Gigaba made the gesture at Ndlozi after the latter suggested that ministers utilise camera-less cellphones and avoid recording themselves, referring to Gigaba s leaked sex tape. Ndlozi showed the house a burner phone during the question and answer session and suggested to Ramaphosa that he advise members of his Cabinet to not use camera phones and use burner phones as they cannot be hacked. Gigaba apologised unreservedly the next day. Gigaba and the Oppenheimers Gigaba was summoned to appear before Parliament’s portfolio committee on Home Affairs, to provide clarity on whether he had given permission for the Oppenheimer family to run the Fireblade Aviation terminal at OR Tambo International. The Oppenheimers appeared before Parliament and said Gigaba had lied about not approving the construction of the terminal. To compound matters, the Constitutional Court dismissed Gigaba’s leave to appeal against the Fireblade ruling. Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report saying that President Cyril Ramaphosa must act against Gigaba for violating the Constitution and two ethics codes related to the Fireblade matter. The public protector found he had violated the Constitution and Executive Ethics Code by lying under oath. The finding came after a high court in February this year found that he had lied under oath and violated the Constitution by reneging on the approval. Gigaba and the Guptas Gigaba has been severely criticised for his role in granting citizenship to members of the controversial Gupta family, who are at the centre of state capture allegations. Gigaba has maintained that the Gupta family did not receive any favours from himself or his department to gain early naturalisation. There is no evidence of a corrupt relationship, Gigaba has said. Resignation Presidency confirms receiving Gigaba s resignation as Homes Affairs Minister. The presidency confirmed Gigaba handed in his resignation letter, saying: The president has accepted the minister’s resignation and expressed his appreciation for Minister’s Gigaba longstanding service to the government and people of South Africa. IOL

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