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Nicky Oppenheimer relieved Fireblade legal battle is over

Oppenheimer was commenting following news that the Constitutional Court has now also dismissed Malusi Gigaba’s application for leave to appeal a high court ruling.

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.

PRETORIA - Fireblade Aviation’s Nicky Oppenheimer says although their VIP terminal has been operating for the last nine months, it’s a relief to have their legal fight with the Home Affairs Department finally settled.

Oppenheimer was speaking to Eyewitness News following news that the Constitutional Court has now also dismissed Gigaba’s application for leave to appeal a high court ruling.

Last year in litigation between the department and Fireblade, the High Court in Pretoria found the minister lied under oath and had in fact committed the department to providing immigration services at the new VIP terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

Oppenheimer says although the litigation with the department did not hamper operations, the court ruling has vindicated their position.

“It has been operating since February this year, so that’s all in place. I think we had over 691 international flights in that period so it’s nice to have it behind us and know our interpretation of what was agreed was right.”

Neither Minister Malusi Gigaba nor his office have commented on the Public Protector’s report which found he violated the Constitution and the executive ethics code in the Fireblade matter.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa says he’s still applying his mind to the Public Protector's finding against Minister Gigaba.

Earlier this week, Advocate Bususiwe Mkhwebane found Gigaba lied under oath.

She recommended the president take action against the minister.

Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko says: “I can say the president takes the matter very seriously, especially where the Public Protector says that the code of ethics has been violated.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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