Nzimande in, Gigaba out, but home affairs questions get bumped in the House

2018-11-14 19:53
Challenging the system: Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

Challenging the system: Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

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Acting Minister of Home Affairs Blade Nzimande may have been present during the oral question session in Parliament on Wednesday, but answers to key questions in this portfolio were not.

Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, now an ordinary MP, was also absent.

Gigaba resigned this week amid a series of reputational knocks to his public image ranging from a leaked sex tape and breaching the executive ethics code by lying under oath.

He has not resigned as ANC MP from Parliament.

At least eight questions were scheduled for oral reply by the acting home affairs minister, but Nzimande asked for these to be postponed.

Few of these questions relate to Gigaba's current public relations nightmare.

The first question postponed was that of DA MP Haniff Hoosen who asked the minister whether he intended to revoke the citizenship of Gupta family members in the midst of alleged irregularities with the naturalisation of certain family members.

In terms of section 8 of the South African Citizenship Act, the minister can by order "deprive any South African citizen by naturalisation of his or her South African citizenship" where such citizenship was obtained through fraud or false representation.

Earlier in the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs sitting in Parliament Gigaba denied any wrongdoing and said that the process followed only partially took place during his tenure.

Fireblade, elections readiness

ANC MP Donald Gumede's question to the minister was also postponed. Gumede wanted to know what agreements were put in place to ensure that Fireblade Aviation pays the department for services rendered.

The company earlier told MPs it paid R177 000 for services. Shortly before his resignation, Gigaba made news headlines when he was exposed for having lied under oath both in Parliament and by the Public Protector. 

Business mogul and chairperson of Fireblade Aviation Nicky Oppenheimer and company director Manny Dipico told MPs there was an agreement with Gigaba for Fireblade Aviation to operate a private terminal at the OR Tambo International Airport. Gigaba denied this.

READ: Public Protector finds Gigaba violated the ethics code over the Fireblade saga

The Public Protector in her report, however, also found he breached the executive ethics code and lied under oath with regards to permission to Fireblade Aviation. Gigaba has since indicated he will take the Public Protector's report on the Fireblade saga on judicial review.

Other questions postponed probed the minister on the Independent Electoral Commission of South Africa's (IEC) progress in capturing addresses on the voters' roll and steps taken by the IEC to ensure all prisoners in correctional service facilities are registered to vote.

Questions to peace and security cluster ministers continued on Wednesday.

Read more on:    home affairs  |  blade ­nzimande  |  malusi gigaba
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