Buhle vs Gigabytes

2017-05-14 09:06


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A confidante of Nomachule “Noma” Gigaba, wife of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, says she is convinced that the interview Noma gave to TV news station eNCA was a “set-up” calculated to inflict “political damage” on her husband.

Noma’s interview with eNCA journalist Ayanda-Allie Paine set off a chain of cringeworthy events this week – including her husband’s private life being brought up in Parliament, and his alleged former mistress keeping the nation enthralled with sensational claims on Twitter.

A close friend of Noma, nicknamed Mrs Gigabyte, told City Press on Friday that Noma questioned why her eNCA interview was aired the same day her husband answered questions before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) regarding Treasury’s plan to protect the country against further credit downgrades.

“This thing is political. They wanted to distract Malusi in Parliament and give opposition parties something to talk about ... The plan was to use Noma against her husband,” the friend said.

Another source told City Press that the story that got everyone talking this week was “deeper than we all think” and that “the Gigabas are not taking this lightly”.

Despite this week’s revelations on a Twitter account belonging to Gigaba’s former mistress Buhle Mkhize, it is apparently “business as usual” in the Gigaba household. Noma’s friend said that Gigaba fully supported his wife and that the couple were spending cosy time together at their Cape Town home this week.

“They are together in this. They will not allow anyone to come between them,” the friend said.

“She is neither affected nor bothered by what people are saying behind her back. If Noma knew that this [interview] was about politics, she would not have agreed to it. She does not like to be drawn into politics.”

Another friend described Noma as a “praying woman”, who drew strength from prayer.

However, Anton Harber, eNCA’s editor in chief, hit back at accusations of foul play on the TV station’s part. “How was it a set-up? We invited her and she accepted. She even had a discussion with the anchor beforehand on what would be covered. You cannot blame the questioner for the answers.”

The only reference Noma made to the issue was on her Instagram account: “When storms come, don’t be shaken or moved; stand still and fix your eyes to the one who created you and placed you where you are. Above all, rise again, fix your crown and wait in the Lord. He will come in the morning and give you new strength.”

The interview was broadcast by eNCA in three parts from Monday. On Tuesday, the finance minister appeared before Scopa, responding to questions about radical economic transformation and his personal life.

Floyd Shivambu, deputy president of the Economic Freedom Fighters, asked him to clarify Noma’s comments in the eNCA interview about having advised her husband about IT matters during his tenure as home affairs minister and helping to process passports and IDs.

Irritated, Gigaba replied: “My wife did not invite herself to that interview; she was invited. She was asked questions which needed to be answered ... Your [Shivambu’s] statements are fundamentally untrue. I don’t think we should take cheap shots at each other using our families. You must engage me as a politician. Don’t bring my family [into this], and I will not bring yours too. I’m not that cheap.”

Sensational Twitter claims were made by Gigaba’s ex-mistress Mkhize, whose Twitter handle, @buhlemkhize85, has now been replaced with @booslay, the name Mkhize goes by on Instagram. Her latest Twitter posts were made in response to the eNCA interview given by Noma.

On @buhlemkhize85 she tweeted PowerPoint slides to ensure that she could reveal more than 140 characters at a time – because Noma had responded to a question about the affair in the eNCA interview. Asked by Paine why Noma had gone after Mkhize on Instagram in 2015, she had replied: “People were saying: ‘How can she say this as a minister’s wife?’ I didn’t care who was saying what, this was my husband.”

@buhlemkhize85 racked up more than 29 000 followers in a few days with her revelations about the affair with Gigaba, which came to light in 2015. In an open letter she wrote at the time, Mkhize said she met Gigaba in 2014, shortly before he married Noma, on Instagram.

Mkhize claimed that Gigaba initially said she was “not his type” as she had big boobs – but he ended up rather enjoying them “post play”. He sent her flirty messages, showered her with attention and, after he returned from honeymoon, they met for trysts in Cape Town. After a social-media battle with Noma, they parted ways.

But this week, @buhlemkhize85 felt Noma rekindled their war by labelling her a prostitute on eNCA, although she did not mention Mkhize by name. On Tuesday, @buhlemkhize85 tweeted: “Could you have not declined answering that question, Noma? I get interview requests on it all the time but I decline. I do not understand why you had to speak on such old and worse LIE.”

The blistering series of tweets, which have since been deleted, saw @buhlemkhize85 label the minister a “black frog” and Noma “Homo Naledi”. She alleged that Gigaba had presidential ambitions and that when their alleged affair ended, “intelligence guys were sent to my hotel to sort of both threaten me or figure what I’d take to shut up”.

She also claimed to have compiled a dossier and “kept receipts” and to have more damaging information on the minister. About Noma’s recent trip to New York, accompanying her husband when he met with US investors, @buhlemkhize85 wrote: “Dear DA/EFF, I’d like to defend the Minister regarding the wife’s selfie trip to America. [Gigaba] was NEVER going to be allowed to go to America alone after being caught ebhoshi nefoni yomkhankaso with guess who’s number as last dialed.”

Mkhize, who grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, now lives in New York, where she is a stylist. She has dressed stars such as Bruno Mars.

Read more on:    buhle mkhize  |  malusi gigaba  |  politics  |  media

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