‘He put the interests of the country first,’ says ANC as Gigaba quits Parly

Malusi Gigaba has resigned as an MP Picture: Adrian de Kock
Malusi Gigaba has resigned as an MP Picture: Adrian de Kock

Malusi Gigaba has resigned as a member of Parliament. Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo confirmed this morning.

Mothapo confirmed that the speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, received a letter from Gigaba, informing her that he was resigning as a member of Parliament.

The ANC’s chief whip Jackson Mthembu said he appreciated the fact that Gigaba had “put the interests of the ANC and the country first”.

“This is what we expect from any cadre ... and Gigaba has remained true to that,” Mthembu said on Thursday.

Gigaba has been under growing pressure to stand down since a high court ruling last December concluded that he had lied under oath in a case involving efforts to set up an immigration facility for wealthy VIPs at an airport.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to discipline him.

Mbete had earlier referred the report from the Public Protector and letter from President Cyril Ramaphosa to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests for consideration, and to the portfolio committee on home affairs.

The former home affairs minister resigned as Cabinet minister on Tuesday after what he called “sustained and vitriolic attacks” on his integrity and said he intended to clear his name.

Gigaba served as South Africa’s finance minister from March 2017 to February 2018 and was then reappointed home affairs minister. He has always denied any wrongdoing.

Last week, Mkhwebane said Gigaba should be disciplined for lying under oath about the wealthy Oppenheimer family’s attempt to open a private airport immigration facility.

Mkhwebane directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to discipline Gigaba and to inform her of the action he had taken within 20 days.

On Thursday morning, Ramaphosa sent a letter and the Public Protector’s investigative report on the alleged violation of the Constitution by Gigaba to Parliament.

The letter and the report were referred to Parliament’s ethics committee, however, it is expected that these processes will fall away following Gigaba’s resignation.

The pressure on Gigaba increased last month when he apologised over a private sex video that was leaked on social media after his phone was hacked while he was finance minister.

“I wish to state that my resignation is not an admission of guilt on my part,” Gigaba said in a statement late on Tuesday.

Gigaba said he had requested a judicial review of the Public Protector’s finding regarding the private airport immigration facility and would defend himself in all other matters.

Ramaphosa asked Minister of Transport Blade Nzimande to act as home affairs minister until a permanent appointment was made, the president’s office said.

Gigaba was thrust into the role of finance minister after South Africa’s then-president Jacob Zuma sacked Pravin Gordhan, a move that unnerved investors and roiled markets at the time. – Additional reporting by Reuters

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