From being accused of favouring the infamous Gupta family to playing Candy Crush during a sitting of Parliament, KwaZulu-Natal-born Malusi Gigaba has had a tumultuous time as a leader in government to say the least.
Coming from humble beginnings in Mandeni, about an hour and a half outside Durban, Gigaba found himself in the midst of a meteoric rise to power as he hopped on the ticket of former president Jacob Zuma.
His roots, however, are firmly embedded in the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) which he joined in 1990 after a period of time in the South African Students’ Congress in the 1980s.
He was elected as regional chairperson for the KwaZulu-Natal’s youth league in 1994 and also served as the league’s provincial secretary and an ex-officio member of the ANC’s provincial executive committee between 1994 and 1996.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba resigned from his post following mounting pressure for President Cyril Ramaphosa to give him the boot.
Later in 1996 he was elected as president of the ANCYL. Gigaba became the only president in the history of the ANCYL to be elected for three consecutive terms in 1996, 1998 and 2001.
Gigaba was appointed as deputy minister of home affairs in 2004 and subsequently served as minister of public enterprises, minister of finance and twice as minister of home affairs.
Here are some of Gigaba’s more dramatic moments during his time in national politics:
1. He is accused of lying under oath
Gigaba was accused of lying under oath by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. She said the former minister had lied in court while testifying last year in a case filed by a company controlled by the wealthy Oppenheimer family.
A court found Gigaba guilty of lying when he denied granting permission to the Oppenheimer family’s Fireblade Aviation to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International.
Nicky Oppenheimer reportedly told the home affairs committee that Gigaba was “self-destructing” with his continuous denials.
The court case hinged on whether Gigaba had approved a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport for the Oppenheimers.
2. He had an affair while in office
An affair with socialite Buhle Mkhize played itself out in the public domain during his tenure as finance minister. A social media spat between the two carried on for months in 2015 and 2016.
On Twitter, socialite Mkhize had appeared to threaten the Gigaba and his wife, Norma, indicating that she had a recording on tape that could embarrass the minister.
3. Travelling with children debacle
Gigaba had the tourism industry in an outrage when he implemented more stringent rules for those travelling with children. There has been a noted reduction in tourists coming to South Africa due to the visa regulation.
4. He played Candy Crush in Parliament
On February 15 while all eyes were on President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament, then finance minister Gigaba had something else on his mind – a game of Candy Crush.
News24 journalist Jan Gerber took a picture showing Gigaba playing a Candy Crush-style game on his tablet while ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu was speaking. The image was quickly picked up by Twitter users, and soon people started guessing which game it was. Most users thought it was Candy Crush and some said they understood because the game was “so addictive”.
5. Offshore bank account
He was once investigated by state security agents for having an offshore bank account opened in his name in the United Arab Emirates during his tenure as public enterprises minister.
At the time, he claimed that the account was opened by one of his officials without his knowledge. This, however, was questioned after banking and security insiders indicated that it was nearly impossible for anyone to open an offshore account using a person’s name without their knowledge.
6. Extortion masturbation tape
A tape showing Gigaba masturbating became public after an alleged extortion attempt. Gigaba on Twitter said he had been the target of extortion attempts by an opposition politician after a sex video emerged following what he described as theft by hacking.
7. Billions lost at Eskom
Gigaba’s tenure as public enterprises minister was one of his most damaging to the country. When he joined as minister in 2009, the parastatal boasted R19.6bn in cash. By the time he departed in 2014, it was broke.
He agreed to a number of appointments for people with no corporate or electricity sector experience, paving the way for Gupta business associates, their relatives or their wives. These include former Oakbay director Mark Pamensky, Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane’s adviser Kuben Moodley, and Nazia Carrim, the wife of a relative of close Gupta associate Salim Essa.