Norma Mngoma to testify at state capture inquiry about Gigaba's visits to the Guptas
Nomachule Norma Mngoma has confirmed in court papers that she has agreed to give evidence before the state capture inquiry about the visits by her estranged husband, former finance minister Malusi Gigaba, to the Guptas - and said information removed from her devices when she was unlawfully arrested by the Hawks related to “these exact matters”.
“This is definitely no coincidence. It therefore seems obvious that the Hawks were involved in a corrupt conspiracy with Mr Gigaba, whose purpose was to tamper with and remove essential evidence of his allegedly corrupt association with the Guptas, to which I was one of the eyewitnesses,” said Mngoma.
Mngoma was responding to an appeal application by police minister Bheki Cele and the Hawks after the Pretoria high court declared that her arrest was unlawful. Judge Cassim Sardiwalla also ordered that her devices confiscated during the arrest and the information downloaded from them be returned.
Mngoma was arrested in July last year after allegedly damaging a Mercedes-Benz G wagon that was being driven by Gigaba — by repeatedly scratching it with a vegetable slicer. There was also an allegation — leading to a charge of crimen injuria — that she had sent an insulting text message to a friend of his.
However, even with a judgment in her favour, the information on her devices was not returned, said Mngoma. She has now urgently asked the court to order that, despite the appeal application, its earlier order nonetheless be enforced.
Mngoma said there was “a great likelihood” that the information she wanted returned may be required by other law enforcement agencies, including the state capture commission.
“The anxiety of not knowing exactly what personal information was retained is unbearable,” she added.
She said the application for leave to appeal was “frivolous and motivated by malice”.
The application by Cele and the Hawks was made on Monday — the last day available to appeal — on the grounds that the case was not urgent and that the high court did not have jurisdiction to hear the issues brought by Mngoma as these should have been heard by the criminal trial court.
But Mngoma said these appeal grounds had no legal merit and the application was “doomed to fail”.
“The motives for launching the application include unduly delaying the restoration of my information and avoiding the necessary disciplinary action which must otherwise be taken against the rogue police officers implicated in my arrest,” she said.
Sardiwalla was scathing about the conduct of the Hawks officers involved in her arrest saying they had “abused their powers and position” in the Hawks. The aim was “presumably to avenge a wrong or perceived wrong” on the part of her husband.
Mngoma said Cele had done nothing to discipline the rogue officers and instead “went out on an unsolicited and contemptuous rant when he effectively attacked this honourable court and questioned its judgment far beyond the acceptable limits of criticism”.
She was referring to an interview with eNCA where Cele had questioned, while admitting that he had not read the judgment yet, how the court could declare the conduct of the police officers in seeking an arrest warrant unlawful instead of the issuing of the warrant by the court.