Gigaba under fire: Former supplier sues Home Affairs for R794m - report

2018-10-19 10:01
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (File)

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (File)

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Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is under fire again.

In the latest development involving the minister, The Star reported on Friday that Gigaba has been subpoenaed as part of a liquidation matter involving a supplier to the department.

According to The Star, IT company Double Ring Trading first invoiced the department for R67m, but the amount has since grown to R794m. Double Ring Trading was reportedly contracted by the department in 2005 to supply and install an information and communication technology hub at the home affairs offices in Pretoria.

A former home affairs manager reportedly swore under oath that Double Ring Trading had complied with its contractual obligations, but was not paid. The company went into voluntary liquidation in 2016.

However, the department reportedly denied that the hub was installed.

The amount reportedly grew because of a clause in the contract between Home Affairs and Double Ring Trading, stating that outstanding amounts will accrue interest at a rate of 5% plus prime in US dollars.

Guptas' citizenship debacle

Gigaba has reportedly been personally subpoenaed to account for the department’s alleged failure to pay Double Ring Trading.

A reported failure to pay a supplier is not Gigaba's only problem.

On Wednesday, News24 revealed that, in May, he was given a legal opinion by a top advocate and two juniors that he should challenge the citizenship of the Gupta family in court.

The opinion, by Nazeer Cassim SC and two junior advocates, stated: "I have no doubt that the information put before the minister by the Guptas to obtain citizenship was false and incorrect. No doubt, the minister was misled in believing that this family had large resources to inject into the South African economy and to benefit South Africa."

"In hindsight, they misappropriated and/or abused South African resources to propel their own cause including obtaining South African citizenship. There is a largess of information readily available to support an application to court on this basis."

But Gigaba did not take action.

He argued that, if he had gone to court over the Guptas’ citizenship, it might have impacted on future efforts to extradite them.

Threats to sue Redi Tlhabi

But Advocate Anton Katz SC told News24 that extradition had nothing to do with citizenship.

"Many, if not most, South African extradition requests to other countries relate to persons who are not South African citizens.

"A classic example is South Africa's request to the UK for Mr Shrien Dewani's surrender in extradition to South Africa to stand trial for murder in the (Western) Cape High Court. Mr Dewani was not a South African citizen. He was a foreign national who visited Cape Town for a couple of weeks."

Gigaba is also embroiled in a dispute with media personality and author Redi Tlhabi over allegations that he based visa regulations for travelling with children on his own personal circumstances, and not on "empirical evidence".

Tlhabi alleged on Twitter that amendments to the regulations – requiring parental consent for travelling with a minor – were made because Gigaba had had an incident involving his ex-wife and daughter travelling abroad.

Gigaba threatened to sue and, on Monday, Tlhabi confirmed that Gigaba’s lawyers had sent her a letter stating that she should retract her allegations within seven days and apologise.

Read more on:    department of home affairs  |  malusi gigaba  |  courts

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