President Cyril Ramaphosa has exactly one week to fire ministers Malusi Gigaba and Bathabile Dlamini from his Cabinet or face legal action from DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
In a press conference this morning, Maimane also announced that he will be laying perjury charges against both Gigaba and Dlamini calling them, “liars”.
He said he was not afraid to call them liars because two had courts had already accused both ministers of lying.
Maimane said he would give Ramaphosa until October 5 to remove the two ministers from Cabinet, failing which he would approach the courts.
The DA planned to argue in court that appointments to Cabinet must be, “rational, and this included appointments in terms of section 91(3) of the Constitution of members of the Cabinet. It follows, so we argue, that such appointments can be reviewed.”
Maimane cited the DA’s case against former president Jacob Zuma’s firing against then finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
The party argued the reasons for his dismissal were irrational.
Quoting the Constitutional Court, which yesterday ruled that Dlamini personally pay 20% of legal costs for the Social Security Agency case – which he said was essentially calling Social Development Minister Dlamini a liar.
“At best for her, her conduct was reckless and grossly negligent,” and that (par 15) “the minister misled the court to protect herself from the consequences of her behaviour.”
In view of the court (par 15) she “used her position as minister of the department to place herself between constitutionally enshrined rights and those entitled to them,” the letter to Ramaphosa reads.
Taking aim at Home Affairs Minister Gigaba as well, Maimane quoted the North Gauteng High Court, which found that the home affairs minister, “deliberately told untruths under oath”.
This was in relation to the Fireblade Aviation matter. Judge Neil Tuchten in his ruling also said that, “he [Gigaba] committed a breach of the Constitution so serious that I could characterise it as a violation”.
Ramaphosa will again find himself caught between a rock and a hard place in responding to Maimane.
While the prerogative to hire and fire his Cabinet is his alone, he will be seen as turning a blind eye to rot in his Cabinet, a move contrary to the anti- corruption crusade he has been on since he came into office in February this year.
Dlamini enjoys great support within the ANC, by way of her standing as president of the women’s league, making it difficult for Ramaphosa to act against her in government.
Maimane ends his letter to Ramaphosa with a reminder of his anti-corruption march saying: “Your commitment to cleaning up your administration has been oft repeated, as recently as this week in New York. This is an opportunity to show the seriousness of your words.”