The Democratic Alliance has today laid a formal complaint with the Public Protector requesting that she investigate Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba for lying under oath during court proceedings and violating the Constitution during his tenure as Minister of Home Affairs.
In a court judgment only recently made available to the public, a full bench of the High Court in Pretoria in the matter of Fireblade Aviation (Pty) Ltd v Minister of Home Affairs Case No: 85376-2016/93450-2016, made a number of damning findings against Minister Gigaba.
The judgment was the result of an application by a private company who sought a declaratory order to compel the Minister to abide by a decision he had taken to allow the company to run a customs and immigration service at a privately owned airport operation. At the time, it was alleged that Minister Gigaba revoked the approval he initially granted following pressure from the Gupta family.
In the judgment, Minister Gigaba was found to have “…deliberately told untruths under oath”. Furthermore, his decisions and conduct in the matter were found to be so far out of step with the law that Judge Tuchten concluded that “…the Minister has committed a breach of the Constitution so serious that I could characterize it as a violation”.
These findings are unequivocal and form the basis of the DA’s complaint to the Public Protector to investigate Minister Gigaba for his breaches of the Constitution, the Executive Members Ethics Act and the Executive Ethics Code.
In light of this judgment and the DA’s complaint, the ANC should now be compelled to act against Minister Gigaba if indeed they are a “renewed” organisation. This is the true test for President Cyril Ramaphosa and his party – steps must be taken to remove Minister Gigaba as a matter of urgency. The ANC must prove to the South African people that they are serious about taking action against yet another one of their colleagues who has been found to have violated the Constitution for the benefit of the Gupta family. Should they fail to act, it would amount to a serious indictment on the ANC under President Ramaphosa’s leadership.
While the DA has indeed called for Adv Mkhwebane to be removed following a court finding against her for incompetence and misconduct, we nevertheless have faith in the institution of the Office of the Public Protector to conduct this investigation into Minister Gigaba in accordance with its constitutional mandate. The DA will continue to do all in its power to ensure that Minister Gigaba is held directly accountable for undermining the country’s laws in this disgraceful manner.