The ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) did not discuss the fate of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba during its weekend meeting, a spokesperson told eNCA.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said in an interview that the party had discussed organisational issues, and not the scandal around Gigaba.
“We did not have an item called Malusi Gigaba on the agenda. We were dealing with three specific issues which are organisational. We are dealing with unity and renewal of the organisation following a retreat that the officials had held earlier last month. We are also dealing with the issues in the public domain of VBS and the integrity commission,” he said, adding that the party was also dealing with its preparations for the 2019 general elections.
— eNCA (@eNCA) November 5, 2018
The minister came under fire last week on several fronts: first, it emerged that a tape containing content “of a sexual nature” was being used to allegedly blackmail him; then the Public Protector found that he lied under oath when he told the high court that he did not approve an application by the Oppenheimer family to run a private terminal at OR Tambo international airport. The Constitutional Court then dismissed his application for leave to appeal the high court judgment.
Business Day reported on Monday that Gigaba and former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown were implicated in a draft parliamentary report into Eskom. The report reportedly recommended that the two should be criminally investigated as they were among those suspected of being “captured”.
In an interview with eNCA, Gigaba said he had “voluntarily and happily” co-operated with two inquiries into his conduct. He said he learnt over the weekend that one of the reports was leaked to the media without him being given an opportunity to respond.
“All of this is being done deliberately to perpetuate the narrative which is not backed by facts… so you continue to perpetuate this narrative to paint this person with a brush of wrongdoing and misdeeds, and by the time the person responds to the allegations, they’ve already been splashed out there in the media,” he said.
— eNCA (@eNCA) November 5, 2018
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Gigaba maintained that the Public Protector and the courts were wrong.
He reportedly said: “To say to people I think this is a good idea does not in itself constitute an approval. I said to them that a VVIP terminal, in my opinion, is not a bad idea given that they may be instances when Waterkloof [and] Lanseria are busy or OR Tambo is not convenient for [the] landing of heads of state and other people arriving in private jets … you may want to have a VVIP terminal. Which may be good to attract investors and business people arriving in private aircraft. But that in itself does not constitute an approval. It constitutes an appreciation of an idea.”
Gigaba told City Press that resigning would amount to giving in to a “devious plot”.
He reportedly said: “If I do that [resign], I will be giving in to a devious plot. It means that, from now and henceforth, everybody who is a victim of a political campaign of slander and destruction must simply surrender to those who have the resources and capacity to wage such campaigns. No, they must bring the war, I am ready for it. I am going to fight it to the bitter end; they must not think they can walk all over me.”
His spokesperson also maintained that the Constitutional Court judgment did not concern his alleged lie.
the appeal was against the lower courts’ decision to disregard the constitution/the pfma/due process and ‘approve’ the fireblade international terminal… it was not against the erroneous deduction that gigaba’s affidavit before the high court contained lies… geddit?!? https://t.co/XXBiPdfVRr
— the renegade saint (@VuyoMkhize) November 4, 2018
We reported on Saturday that the party resolved to put an end to secret meetings. This was after the Sunday Times reported on a so-called secret meeting between ANC secretary general Ace Magashule, ANC Women’s League Secretary General Meokgo Matuba and ousted ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo, allegedly plotting to oust president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Magashule told journalists at the weekend: “If I’m going to have a meeting somewhere which might be construed as something else, it’s better to inform the leadership and vice versa… Moving forward we have decided people must have ANC meetings. People must engage, provinces must invite one another so that people and leaders don’t meet in corners.”