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Nicky Oppenheimer accuses Malusi Gigaba of lying to the House

The Oppenheimers were before the Home Affairs committee to explain their operations at their privately-owned Fireblade Aviation terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

A screengrab of Nicky Oppenheimer and Fireblade director and former Northern Cape Premier Manne Dipico addressing the Home Affairs Committee in Parliament on 30 October 2018. Picture: YouTube.

CAPE TOWN - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba’s character has once again been called into question in Parliament, where business tycoon Nicky Oppenheimer has openly accused him of lying to the House.

Oppenheimer and his son Jonathan were before the Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday, to explain their operations at their privately-owned Fireblade Aviation terminal at OR Tambo International Airport, that has led to a court battle with Gigaba.

Oppenheimer says he was astounded that Gigaba sought to go back on his word after granting permission for international passengers to pass through the terminal, following a meeting at his Pretoria office in 2016.

The Oppenheimers say although there’s no written agreement to prove that Gigaba gave permission for immigration services at the Fireblade terminal, the meeting was minuted.

Gigaba also promised to deliver a signed letter confirming the arrangement.

A letter signed by him retracting the approval was later submitted to the court.

“So, the minister lied to this committee and I actually take offence that he suggested we bribed somebody or stole a document. I find that very offensive.”

Fireblade director and former Northern Cape Premier Manne Dipico says Parliament should guide Gigaba on his behaviour.

“It was a hurtful thing when I saw a comrade of mine going that route. There was approval. Finish and klaar.”

The Oppenheimers insist they’ve done everything necessary to comply with government regulations to run the private terminal, and there are 27 signed agreements with state departments, to prove it.

WATCH LIVE: Home Affairs briefing on Fireblade Aviation owners

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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