- Malusi Gigaba says his estranged wife testified to the state capture commission because she is bitter.
- He says she fabricated everything she said about him.
- Gigaba says Norma Mngoma is using the commission to force him into a divorce settlement that will favour her.
Former minister Malusi Gigaba told the state capture inquiry on Thursday that his estranged wife, Norma Mngoma, is bitter and is trying to use the commission to settle her marital scores.
The two have been married for six years and are yet to finalise their divorce.
Mngoma appeared at the inquiry earlier in May and dropped several bombshells. Among the many allegations, she also spoke about the former couple's trips to Dubai, her estranged husband's close relationship with the Gupta family, and the cash he got from them to buy suits. But Gigaba told the commission on Thursday night that Mngoma's testimony didn't have any ounce of credibility.
"It's a person who would, at the face of it, sound more believable than any other witnesses who have come before the commission. [But] you are dealing with a person with whom we are undergoing a divorce," said Gigaba.
He denied every allegation she made in her affidavit. From the 200 suits in his closets, the number of times the two went to the Gupta household and money stashed in sports bags in boots, he said it was all "fabricated".
He said her affidavit was littered with things she "heard, overhead or saw" but provided no shred of evidence to prove that. In addition, he said Mngoma was never a part of any of his business meetings.
But Gigaba admitted that the Guptas gifted his son with a gold necklace. Still, he denied ever taking his second son to visit the family. He said he accepted the jewellery for his first son because that's what friends do when a child is born.
Gigaba claimed many of the allegations in Mngoma's statement were clearly put together by someone who "coached" her on how to construct a coherent story from events that didn't occur. He said Mngoma was also trying to rehash what she had heard from other witnesses who testified before the commission.
The commission is being used
Gigaba also branded Mngoma as an "extensive" liar, saying she misrepresented the fact that he was the one who initiated the divorce proceedings, which left her acrimonious.
He said the way she "attacked" his family in her evidence reflected how their relationship has gone sour over the years. And then he told the commission that Mngoma approached him on the first week of January and proposed that they should reach an amicable settlement on their divorce.
Because the two had an antenuptial marriage with no accrual, he alleged that Mngoma asked that he provide financial support to her and withdraw the charges against her for damaging Gigaba's friend's car. She would, in turn, withdraw her offer to testify to the commission.
But when they couldn't agree on how to go about finding this amicable settlement, Mngoma then started saying Gigaba had tried to bribe her not to come to testify.
"The commission is being used to solicit a divorce settlement," he said.
But Gigaba didn't stop there. He launched an attack on Mngoma's financial status too, saying when she met her, she misrepresented herself as a big shot from a wealthy family.
"She has told me that her father was a businessman living in New York City and that she herself regularly visited New York City," said Gigaba.
He said Mngoma later told him that her father had died, leaving her a "very handsome" inheritance behind. She would come to see him in different German cars that she said were hers, and he bought into her story that she was an IT executive.
"My understanding was that this was a very wealthy woman and from a well-to-do family. She had lived with her father in Musgrave, Durban, while she was a student at Natal Technikon or ML Sultan, which turns out was not true," said Gigaba.
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