Times get harder for Gigaba as report links him to state capture at Eskom
It's reported a draft parliamentary report into Eskom, which has been leaked to the media, names 44 people and 25 companies who should be criminally investigated.
JOHANNESBURG – As Malusi Gigaba prepares to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa about his recent controversies, more trouble seems to on the horizon for the home affairs minister with a new report allegedly linking him to state capture.
The Business Day is on Monday morning reporting on a draft parliamentary report into Eskom, which has been leaked to the media, naming 44 people and 25 companies who should be criminally investigated over alleged mismanagement and corruption at the utility.
Gigaba and another former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown are reportedly among those named.
The chairperson of parliament's inquiry into Eskom Zukiswa Rantho has refused to confirm the contents of the report, saying that it is yet to be finalised and should be adopted by the committee by Wednesday.
She has, however, confirmed that some of the recommendations made in the report speak to a criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, Gigaba has reiterated his claim that his recent troubles appear politically motivated.
The minister spoke to eNCA on Sunday, following a tough few days after the Public Protector directed President Ramaphosa to act against him for lying under oath in court during a dispute with the Oppenheimer's Fireblade Aviation.
The Constitutional Court added to Gigaba’s troubles when it rejected his bid to appeal a high court finding that also stated that he lied in the Fireblade case.
The minister claims he hasn't been given an opportunity to explain himself.
“I feel an avalanche of pressure, all of which seems political. A common narrative is being built up that seeks to paint me as a person who is not fit to hold office without giving me a fair opportunity to state my case in a haste to get rid of me.”
BATTLE IS ON
Gigaba has said he will “fight ... to the bitter end” against any moves to remove him after the anti-graft watchdog said he should be disciplined for lying under oath, the City Press newspaper reported.
Gigaba told the paper on Sunday that he faced a sustained political onslaught aimed at forcing his resignation.
“If I do that, 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 spokesman 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 South African 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, former chairman 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.
Additional reporting by Reuters.
(Edited by Shimoney Regter)