Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has revealed that a tape containing material "of a sexual nature" is circulating in political circles and has been used in blackmail and extortion attempts against him. Gigaba said the video was stolen from his cellphone and that he became aware of this just before his appointment as finance minister in March, 2017.
In a series of tweets on Sunday morning, Gigaba said the tape was stolen during a phone hacking incident in 2016 or 2017, and that its content was only meant to be viewed by his wife and himself.
My wife and I have learned, with regret and sadness, that a video containing material of a sexual nature, meant for our eyes only, which was stolen when my communication got illegally intercepted/my phone got hacked, in 2016/17, is circulating among certain political figures...— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) October 28, 2018
Gigaba said he has refused to give in to the blackmailing and extortion attempts, which have been reported to law enforcement.
This video has been at the centre of a number of blackmail and extortion attempts, dating back to the period immediately following my appointment as Minister of Finance, on 31 March 2017, all of which I have steadfastly refused to entertain...— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) October 28, 2018
These blackmail/extortion attempts as well as the illegal interception of my communication/hacking of my phone have all been reported to the relevant law enforcement/intelligence agencies and I am advised that the resultant investigations are still continuing...— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) October 28, 2018
The minister apologised to his family and the South African public for the "pain and embarrassment" that the circulation of the video will cause. He has appointed a public relations firm to handle the matter on behalf of the family. He said he hoped the country would someday engage with incidents such as this one, involving invasion of privacy.
I take this opportunity to publicly apologise, in advance, to the rest of my family - especially my kids, my mom and my in-laws - and the South African public for the pain and embarrassment the likely wider distribution of this private material will cause...— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) October 28, 2018
I hope our nation will, someday, constructively engage with the question of whether it is correct to condone and promote the gross invasion of the privacy of others by distributing such material, more especially in the clear absence of a public interest justification...
— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) October 28, 2018
I have asked Vuyo Mkhize of public affairs consultancy Kapital Mindz to handle all media enqueries relating to this matter on behalf of my family and I. Khabazela has been assisting me, in my personal capacity, with the management of this matter, since around May 2017.— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) October 28, 2018