DA to push ahead with bid to have Gigaba, Dlamini reappointments declared unlawful

2018-11-14 13:49

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has agreed to President Cyril Ramaphosa's request for an extension to decide on the future of some of his Cabinet ministers, but it still intends to pursue the matter in court on "principle".

In papers filed in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria last month, the DA said Minister in the Presidency for Women Bathabile Dlamini and now former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba "acted dishonestly" and were not "fit and proper" to hold positions in Ramaphosa's executive.

READ: 7 lowlights of Malusi Gigaba's career

The DA is challenging their reappointment to Cabinet in February, and wants the court to find it unlawful and unconstitutional.

But, after spending weeks attempting to fight back findings by the court and the Public Protector, Gigaba stepped down.

DA federal council chairperson James Selfe told News24 that in spite of this development, the DA was going ahead with its legal challenge.

"It's the principle that we are interested in," he said via WhatsApp.

READ: Gigaba wasn't targeted by old guard, mistakes are his own - Mantashe

Under fire

An urgent memo which the state attorney's office sent to the DA's lawyer, Elzanne Jonker, on Ramaphosa's behalf, explained that a decision had still not been made in the matter.

A notice of intent to oppose the DA's application was mistakenly served on the party last week, and later withdrawn.

Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko explained that the president was still applying his mind and had a November 13 deadline, which has now been extended to November 22.

Selfe said the DA consented to this request.

In the affidavit, filed last month, Selfe said: "In the circumstances, the DA seeks an order declaring the president's decision to retain both Ms Dlamini and Mr Gigaba in his Cabinet to be unlawful, unconstitutional and invalid."

Gigaba has been under fire in recent weeks after the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court upheld an earlier finding that he had lied to the High Court about granting approval to the Oppenheimer family's Fireblade Aviation for a private terminal.

The Public Protector also recommended that Ramaphosa take action against him in terms of the Executive Members' Ethics Act.

The highest court in the land has also made damning findings against Dlamini. In September, it held her personally liable for 20% of the legal costs in the litigation relating to the company contracted to distribute social grants.

The court said the National Prosecuting Authority must determine whether the former social development minister should face a charge of perjury for lying under oath, for her role in the South African Social Security Agency debacle.

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