Gigaba is not fit or proper

2018-03-11 06:06
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. (Gallo Images)

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. (Gallo Images)

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Chameleons have an ability to change their colour based on the environment they find themselves in. Like a typical chameleon, newly returned Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has survived and risen in politics by changing his political support with each president of the party and country ... until this week.

This week’s events left the politically ambitious Gigaba exposed as he was caught in a web of untruths over his attempt to explain the Gupta family’s citizenship status.

Gigaba’s relationship with the Guptas is well documented and dates back to the days when he was the public enterprises minister. At the time, Gigaba appointed people who were known Gupta allies on boards of state-owned enterprises. Once appointed, these allies helped the family to loot state coffers. The damage done by the Guptas and their stooges will be felt for a long time to come. The blame for this lies squarely at the feet of Gigaba and his successor Lynne Brown, the Guptas’ arch enablers.

On Tuesday, Gigaba told South Africans that Atul was not a South African citizen. A day later, he changed his story to say he had mixed the brothers and meant to say Ajay was not a citizen of the country.

Gigaba’s gaffe earned him scorn from opposition parties, angry South Africans, his own party and Members of Parliament across the board. This was after he failed to pitch up in Parliament – citing that he was sick – on Wednesday to explain the citizenship of the Guptas. Speaker Baleka Mbete has called for Gigaba to be dealt with harshly while the opposition is planning its own action.

Many asked how Gigaba survived the axe when President Cyril Ramaphosa reshuffled his Cabinet last month. While Ramaphosa could have been trying to avoid being seen as purging Zuma’s allies, it could well be that Gigaba’s web of lies will seal his fate.

After he answers for the Guptas’ citizenship in Parliament, he will have the Eskom inquiry – which he dodged by requesting more time to gather facts. After that, he will be one of the headline acts at the Zondo Commission into state capture.

Gigaba may not realise that he is not a fit and proper person to hold public office, but South Africa does. Maybe in time the message will get through to him and he will do the right thing.

Read more on:    malusi gigaba

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