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I will only resign if asked by Ramaphosa, says Malusi Gigaba

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has broken his silence following a week of controversies.

FILE: Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has broken his silence following a week of controversies and says he will only step down if he is asked to so by the president.

Calls for the embattled minister to step down have been mounting after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to take appropriate disciplinary action against Gigaba for lying under oath in court.

The matter related to the Fireblade Aviation Fixed-Base Operations (FBO) terminal at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

The damning revelation came just a few days after a video depicting the minister engaging in acts of a sexual nature emerged on social media, which Gigaba claims was used to blackmail and extort him.

Speaking on eNCA on Sunday afternoon, Gigaba says he only resign if asked to do so by the African National Congress (ANC).

“One, I’m an employee of the ANC. Two, I serve at the pleasure of the president [Ramaphosa]. It’s not for me to pre-empt my political principals. Whatever they decide about my fate, having listened to my version of events, the important thing is the ANC doesn’t act arbitrarily in relation to its cadres. It first listens to us because we also have our side of the story to state.”

GIGABA TO FIGHT MOVES TO REMOVE HIM

Gigaba has said he will “fight... to the bitter end” against any moves to remove him, the City Press newspaper reported.

Gigaba told the newspaper on Sunday that he faced a sustained political onslaught aimed at forcing his resignation.

“If I do that [resign], I will be giving in to a devious plot ... 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,” Gigaba was quoted as saying.

His spokesperson declined to comment further on his comments to the newspaper, which said he had denied giving any approval to the Oppenheimer family’s bid to open an immigration facility.

A court ruled in December 2017 that Gigaba had lied under oath, violating the Constitution, when he denied having ever approved an application by the Oppenheimers to operate an immigration service for wealthy VIPs at Johannesburg’s main airport.

Nicky Oppenheimer, the former chairperson of diamond miner De Beers and one of South Africa’s wealthiest people, told a parliamentary committee this week that Gigaba had initially approved his family’s plan to open a private terminal at OR Tambo airport in 2016.

It was the latest setback for Gigaba, who said last week that he had faced blackmail threats over a private sex video that was leaked after he reported that his phone had been hacked.

Ramaphosa took office in February after his scandal-plagued predecessor, Jacob Zuma, resigned on orders of the ruling African National Congress after nine years in office blighted by corruption, economic mismanagement and disputed appointments. Gigaba was finance minister during Zuma’s final year in office.

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