The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has rejected claims by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba that its members are part of a political campaign to discredit him.
On the side-lines of a walkabout through the Lindela repatriation centre on Tuesday morning, Gigaba told reporters that the committee had now joined a “well-orchestrated political campaign” against him.
On Monday, Business Day reported that Gigaba and former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown were implicated in a report into state capture at Eskom, compiled by the committee.
The report was leaked before Gigaba was given an opportunity to respond to the report.
“It’s a well-orchestrated political campaign. It is unfortunate that the portfolio committee has thrown itself into the very same process,” Gigaba said.
“I am going to consult on what to do with this, because it’s quite clear that I don’t think the ANC has to take this thing lightly. I am a member of the ANC in good standing. I do not deserve to be treated in this fashion,” he said.
Speaking to us on Tuesday morning, Daphne Rantho denied that the committee had any part in such a campaign.
She said it was unfortunate that the report was leaked before Gigaba was given a chance to respond, but denied that the committee members were responsible for this.
“It was not supposed to go out to the media. The report will now be processed as normal and we will have to assess how much damage was done,” she said.
“We, as a committee, are not part of that campaign against him. If there is such a campaign, we are not part of it.”
Gigaba is scheduled to appear before the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday afternoon, regarding the Fireblade terminal saga.
Committee chairperson Hlomane Chauke told Radio 702’s Bongani Bingwa on Tuesday morning that the committee’s role was to ensure that due process was followed in implementing the agreement between Fireblade and the Department of Home Affairs.
Last week, the Constitutional Court dismissed an application for leave to appeal a High Court ruling which found that Gigaba had lied under oath when he said he had not signed an agreement with the Oppenheimer family’s Fireblade Aviation to allow the company to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
Chauke also said the committee was not part of any political conspiracy against the minister.