As Gigaba falls on his sword, is a Cabinet reshuffle on the cards?

2018-11-14 06:56
Malusi Gigaba (File, Netwerk24)

Malusi Gigaba (File, Netwerk24)

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A Cabinet reshuffle is looming following the resignation of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, one day before the deadline that was set by the Public Protector for President Cyril Ramaphosa to take action against him for lying under oath, Business Day reported.

According to Business Day, more changes to the executive are expected, although Ramaphosa has not decided on the timing, with elections - likely to be followed by a wholesale Cabinet reshuffle - due to take place in about six months.

Gigaba's former job is not the only vacancy that needs to be filled.  

The post for environmental affairs minister has been vacant since September following the passing of Edna Molewa.

This means Ramaphosa could soon announce a reshuffle of his Cabinet to fill these vacancies, and perhaps make other changes to his executive.

The tainted former home affairs minister issued a statement issued on Tuesday evening, speaking out on his resignation, News24 reported.

READ: Inside Gigaba's resignation: 'The writing was on the wall, waiting to be fired is arrogant'

"I did so after a long period of sustained and vitriolic public attacks on my integrity. I wish to state that my resignation is not an admission of guilt on my part."

He said that the integrity of government and the ANC was more important than him bearing political office.

Defending himself

Gigaba said he filed an application for judicial review of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's recommendation on the Fireblade Aviation matter.

"[I] also intend to defend all other matters which resulted from my term of office as a member of Cabinet."

He said he was privileged to serve with "dedicated and capable colleagues and members of the civil service".

"I wish to thank the ANC and the Presidents who deployed me into all the positions of trust and responsibility. My sincere gratitude also goes to staff and Directors General of all the departments I have had the privilege to lead."

Gigaba has been under fire in recent weeks after the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court upheld an earlier finding that he lied to the High Court in the Fireblade saga. The public protector also recommended that Ramaphosa take action against him in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.

Besides Gigaba's political travails, he was also embarrassed after a video leaked which showed him in a sexual act.

It was reported over the weekend that Gigaba met with Ramaphosa last week in an attempt to smooth over the fallout of the court judgments. He allegedly told the president that he never lied and that his full account of events were never taken into consideration.

Political parties have reacted to Gigaba's long-awaited resignation, with him being labelled as a "disgraced, Gupta stooge".

The EFF, which once described Gigaba as the "architect of state capture", said in a statement that it welcomed the resignation of a "disgraced" minister.

ALSO READ: Gigaba called a 'disgraced, Gupta stooge' as he steps down

Cope said it did not welcome Gigaba's resignation.

"He should have resigned in disgrace during Jacob Zuma's tenure as president when his involvement in the state capture project first came to light," Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said. He added that Gigaba should not have even made it into Ramaphosa's Cabinet when he took over in February.

The ANC's alliance partner, the SACP, noted the development and applauded Gigaba for his decision.

"The SACP commends Gigaba for the decision, taking into account all the circumstances. In particular, the SACP welcomes the reasons he has given for resigning," said spokesperson Alex Mashilo in a statement.

The DA lashed out at Gigaba's statement that he fell "desperately short" as a leader. Chief whip John Steenhuisen said his resignation would not recuse him from allegations of wrongdoing.

Read more on:    anc  |  malusi gigaba  |  cyril ramaphosa
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