Ed Herbst: Will President Ramaphosa act against ‘liar’ Malusi Gigaba?

JOHANNESBURG — Minister Malusi Gigaba disgraced himself last week by lying to South Africans about the status of the Guptas’ citizenry. Twitter pointed out to Gigaba, rather quickly, that the likes of Atul Gupta have a South African passport, courtesy of information revealed to the public via the Gupta leaks. Over the weekend, reports revealed that the Guptas, in fact, have several South African passports. If Gigaba were a minister in Europe, he’d be long gone. But this is South Africa after all. – Gareth van Zyl

By Ed Herbst*

Dutch foreign minister Halbe Zijlstra has resigned after admitting he lied about being in Russian president Vladimir’s dacha in 2006 and hearing Putin talk about his plans for a greater Russia. – DutchNews.nl 13/2/2018

The Constitutional Court has refused to hear the appeal, brought by Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, to set aside a judgment by a full bench of the High Court in Pretoria which found that he “…deliberately told untruths under oath” and that “…the Minister has committed a breach of the Constitution so serious that [Judge Tuchten] could characterise it as a violation”.

This means that the damning findings of Judge Tuchen and a full bench of the High Court stand.

John Steenhuisen Democratic Alliance10/3/2017

In the week following the resignation of Dutch foreign minister Halbe Zijlstra after it became known that he had publicly lied, it became known here in South Africa that the ANC’s Malusi Gigaba had lied under oath and been castigated for this by the High Court.

In fact, he was one of three ANC liars exposed within the space of a fortnight.

Zijlstra’s resignation in Holland, though, is hardly without precedent.

John Profumo and Connie Mulder were driven out of their respective parliaments after it was proved that they had lied to their MP peers and the nation, but things are different in the era of the glorious National Democratic Revolution as the ‘Sipping Pretty’ ANC repeatedly demonstrates.

File Photo: Malusi Gigaba prepares to speak during a news conference in Pretoria on April 1, 2017. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Gigaba, one of numerous recipients of Brett Kebble bribes when he was in the ANC Youth League and the man who did untold damage to our tourism industry in his previous post, is regarded as a leading Gupta captive and it remains to be seen whether he suffers any sanction as a result of the Constitutional Court endorsing a previous High Court finding about his mendacity.

Cyril Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordhan have promised to root out corruption and Cosatu has called for an end to illegal cadre deployment so conditions are conducive to Ramaphosa backing words with action and leading by example.  And what better sacrifice to prove Ramaphosa’s sincerity than a preening popinjay sans credibility, the man who courageously pulls a sickie when he should be answering questions in parliament about his leading role in facilitating Zuptoid corruption?

As Oros would say: Roar Young Lions Roar!

Veteran journalist Ed Herbst

In his defence, Gigaba can justifiably note that there is a pervasive culture of lying by African National Congress political cadres and that he should not be castigated for observing de facto and long-established norms. He could, with equal justification, refer to the ANC’s due diligence protocol which almost demands evidence of criminality as a precondition for political promotion.

One of the most egregious examples of this protocol occurred in November 2015 when Pumlani Mkolo, the man believed to be the mastermind behind the Mandela funeral scam in the East London municipality, was re-elected  – unopposed – as the ANC’s regional secretary. According to the report by the Public Protector, R300 million was creamed off upliftment projects meant to enhance the lives of the rural poor, the sort of anti-poor corruption that is absolutely routine in ANC-controlled municipalities – ask Crispian Olver, he’ll tell you!

Way to go, Comrade Mkolo!

Up until now, lying has not elicited action by the ANC and Gigaba could justifiably cite numerous examples of lying by other deployed cadres, with very few adverse repercussions for those involved. There’s Jacob Zuma  who will play a valued role in the ANC’s canvassing prior to the 2019 national election and is already doing so and spreading his divisive message of ethnic hate. Others in the hallowed ranks of esteemed ANC liars with Heroes’ Acre potential include Tom Moyane and Alec Erwin  and Dina Pule and Tony Yengeni  and Pallo Jordan and Sicelo Shiceka and Thulas Nxesi and Enoch Godongwana and Tina Joemat-Pettersson and Marius Fransman and Rosey Sekese and Humphrey Mmemezi and Angie Motshekga and John Block and  Mosebenzi Zwane  and Menzi Simelane and Ace Magashule and the Johannesburg municipality when it was under ANC control. And let’s not forget all the deployed parasites who lied to parliament during the SABC hearings and the more recent State Capture hearings and so on and so on.

In fact, Enoch Godongwana, the Canyon Springs snouter – along with (surprise, surprise) Ace Magashule, it seems – is being touted as a member a future Cyril Ramaphosa cabinet  – despite his previous lies.

Way to go, Comrade Godongwana!

One of the most disturbing accounts of the public being deliberately misled comes in the chapter Skating on Thin Ice in Vusi Pikoli’s book My Second Initiation. It relates to former President Thabo Mbeki’s suspension of Pikoli as national director of public prosecutions when Mbeki was trying to protect one of his allies, Jackie Selebi who was himself a liar of note.

And let it never be forgotten that, in order to protect the Operation Gukurahundi war criminal and his utterly corrupt and murderous regime, Mbeki withheld the damning findings of the Khampepe Report until relentless and costly court action over 12 years by the Mail & Guardian exposed his dishonesty.

Then there was the minor matter of Mbeki’s attempted cover-up of Arms Deal corruption as outlined in the book After the Party by former ANC MP, Andrew Feinstein.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba

Cyril Ramaphosa has fortuitously been provided with an obvious opportunity to walk his anti-corruption talk by the two recent court findings that Gigaba had perjured himself by lying under oath.

A recent survey showed that two thirds of those polled were happy to see Jacob Zuma step down, so the political climate is positive and would support action being taken against someone whose status is waning by the hour.

A failure to do so by Ramaphosa would simply reaffirm the perception that the ANC holds our courts in contempt and it would manifest an insincerity which would not sit well with foreign investors and rating agencies.

  • Ed Herbst is a retired veteran journalist who writes in his own capacity.

South Africa’s top court dismisses Gigaba appeal over lying

By Paul Vecchiatto

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s highest court dismissed an application by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba to appeal against a High Court ruling that he lied under oath when testifying in a case filed by a company controlled by the billionaire Oppenheimer family.

Fireblade Aviation filed a lawsuit alleging Gigaba had reneged on a pledge to grant it a private immigration terminal at the Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport. Gigaba denied ever approving the terminal and said he stood by his testimony, but the High Court ruled in Fireblade’s favor.

The Constitutional Court “concluded that the application for leave to appeal should be dismissed with costs as it is not in the interests of justice to hear it at this stage,” according to an emailed copy of the judgment.

The application was filed concurrently with the Supreme Court of Appeal, his spokesman, Mayihlome Tshwete, said by phone Saturday. “The Constitutional Court was effectively saying it’s up to the SCA to rule on the matter at this stage.”

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