WATCH LIVE | Oppenheimers in parliament over private terminal at OR Tambo
Billionaire businessman Nicky Oppenheimer and his son‚ Jonathan‚ are expected to appear in Parliament on Tuesday to explain how their company Fireblade Aviation came to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
Parliament’s portfolio committee on home affairs is seeking clarity on the drawn-out matter between Fireblade and minister Malusi Gigaba.
In early 2016‚ Gigaba granted Fireblade approval to offer an ad hoc international customs and immigration service at the airport. This is according to papers the company filed in the Pretoria High Court in November 2016‚ after Gigaba tried to backtrack on the agreement.
In October 2017 the high court ruled that Gigaba had lied under oath and violated the constitution in reneging on the agreement‚ and that Fireblade could continue operating its VIP facility at the airport.
Gigaba appealed the ruling and concurrently launched an application in the Constitutional Court. This was dismissed with costs in March‚ with the Constitutional Court finding that the appeals court had to rule on the matter first. That same month‚ appeal court judge Malcolm Wallis dismissed Gigaba’s appeal‚ saying: “The minister cannot rely on his own unlawful attempt to circumvent the decision he had lawfully made to grant Fireblade’s application.”
Now the parliamentary committee is trying to make sense of the matter.