Gigaba silent on why he took his wife with to the US

Cape Town – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) wanted to know from Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba if it was wise to let his wife accompany him on a trip to the US recently.

During questions posed to ministers in the economic cluster, the EFF’s Hlengiwe Hlope Maxon asked in a follow-up question firstly why he invited his wife to travel with him and secondly if she had attended any official meetings.

“Where is the wisdom in that? This is taxpayers’ money,” Hlope Maxon said.

Gigaba did not give any reasons why his wife accompanied him, but denied that she attended any official meetings. “My wife did not attend any meetings anywhere,” the minister said.

The original question was posed by Hlengwa Mkhuleko from the IFP who wanted to know whom he invited to accompany him on the trip.

Hlengwa added that some stakeholders suggested they had declined Gigaba’s invitation.

The finance minister categorically denied that he extended invitations to any stakeholders. “It was not a roadshow. It is untrue that people were invited and then declined. The trip was for the purpose of attending the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual spring meetings and the delegation of National Treasury officials was led by me – the Finance Minister,” Gigaba said.

The DA’s David Maynier then asked Gigaba why, if he didn’t invite anyone, he took his adviser Chris Malikane along.

Malikane has made a number of controversial statements on various platforms, such as that the South African Reserve Bank and retail banks should be nationalised.

Gigaba, however, refused to answer the question, insisting that it was further down on the order paper and that he’d therefore respond to it later.

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