- Norma Gigaba was arrested on Friday afternoon, seemingly in relation to extensive damage done to a Mercedes Benz her husband Malusi drove.
- Over the weekend, it transpired that the Hawks have been investigating an alleged conspiracy to kill Malusi Gigaba.
- Norma Gigaba was released from police holding cells in Pretoria on Saturday.
Former finance minister Malusi Gigaba's wife Norma is expected to launch a full-throttled attack on the legality of her arrest for assault and malicious damage to property when she appears in court on Monday – after weekend media reports claimed the Hawks were probing an alleged assassination plot against her husband.
News24 has established that the 40-year-old mother-of-two will be represented by well-known senior advocates Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Dali Mpofu when she appears in the Hatfield office of the Pretoria Magistrate's Court this morning. Women's advocacy group Wise 4 Africa will also seek to make submissions in support of Norma Gigaba.
She was arrested on Friday afternoon and spent one night in police holding cells before she was released on Saturday.
It is understood that both Ngcukaitobi and Mpofu will argue that the case against her should be postponed for a long period of time, to enable her to challenge the legality and constitutionality of her arrest and, specifically, the involvement of the Hawks in it.
Over the weekend, the Hawks – which are specifically mandated to investigate "priority" criminal offences like organised crime and corruption – sought to clarify why its officers had arrested her for allegedly trashing a Mercedes Benz G Wagon belonging to her husband's friend, trade unionist Peterson Siyaya.
Siyaya was one of 13 men accused of plotting to kill Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) leaders in the North West in 2017, as part of what the State alleged was a revenge conspiracy driven by internal politics in the union. The case against Siyaya and four other accused was withdrawn in October 2018.
Asked for confirmation of media reports that Norma Gigaba's arrest may be linked to an alleged death threat reported by her husband earlier this year, Hawks national spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told News24: "There was an element of threat to his life in the nature of the offence; we had to get involved and deal with it. We have done what we had to do. That case now will be referred to the SAPS (SA Police Service) detective for further investigation."
In other words, the Hawks have handed their case against Norma Gigaba to the police – an indication that, even at this early stage, the unit has not found evidence to justify pursuing her for any involvement in an alleged "death plot" against her husband.
News24 has, however, established that the Hawks remain in possession of several of Norma Gigaba's devices, including her phone. It is unclear when they will be returned to her.
What is clear, however, is that Norma Gigaba does not intend to take her highly publicised arrest lying down. In addition to challenging the legality of her detention, her lawyers are expected to sue the police for wrongful arrest and defamation linked to weekend reports suggesting that she may have been involved in a plot to kill her husband.
Such legal action will force the Hawks to disclose, in detail, exactly what led the high-level unit to involve itself in what, at least for now, appears to be a very ugly domestic dispute.