Gigaba fires back at Oppenheimers

04 November 2018 - 00:00
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is fighting back against the Oppenheimer family.
Image: Esa Alexander Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is fighting back against the Oppenheimer family.

It is the Oppenheimers who are lying, not me, says embattled home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba.

Gigaba’s week began with a shock sex video, and his woes worsened when public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found he had lied under oath and violated the constitution in the matter of the Oppenheimer family’s private international airport terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

He is now also being investigated by Treasury about his role in a Transnet locomotive deal engineered to help the Gupta family.

Gigaba is, however, fighting back and has told the Sunday Times that contrary to court findings and a public protector report, he did not give the greenlight to Fireblade Aviation to operate a VVIP terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

Gigaba said the courts and public protector Mkhwebane decided to believe the Oppenheimers, and claims he was not given a chance to give oral evidence.

“To say to people I think this is a good idea does not in itself constitute an approval. I said to them that a VVIP terminal, in my opinion, is not a bad idea given that they may be instances when Waterkloof [and] Lanseria are busy or OR Tambo is not convenient for [the] landing of heads of state and other people arriving in private jets … you may want to have a VVIP terminal. Which may be good to attract investors and business people arriving in private aircraft. But that in itself does not constitute an approval. It constitutes an appreciation of an idea.”

He made startling claims that the Oppenheimers lobbied the ANC, and that they had claimed to have former president Jacob Zuma’s approval when they met.

Read the full story in the Sunday Times.