Gigaba’s high-rolling friend Peterson Siyaya ‘broke’

30 August 2020 - 00:00 By jeff wicks
Peterson Siyaya leaves the high court in Pretoria.
Peterson Siyaya leaves the high court in Pretoria.
Image: Alaister Russell

On his Instagram page, business owner Peterson Siyaya is a man with a taste for the finer things in life, from flashy clothes and watches to Louis Vuitton luggage and high-end sports cars.

But court papers reveal that the man drawn into the marital affairs of former cabinet minister Malusi Gigaba and his estranged wife, Norma Mngoma, is out of work and penniless, and his businesses have failed.

Siyaya, 33, was thrust into the spotlight last month after he laid criminal charges against Mngoma, following what he alleged was a heated phone call in which she labelled him a dog and called into question his sexual encounters.

Gigaba opened a case of malicious damage to property after a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, worth nearly R3m, was allegedly damaged by Mngoma. When she was arrested by the Hawks at her Pretoria home, the Sunday Times reported that an impeccable source close to Gigaba said that Gigaba had borrowed the car from his close friend, Siyaya.

Now Siyaya has sought to distance himself from the couple.

This week he hauled the Sunday Times and four other media houses to court, insisting the car was not his, and that calling him a businessman and trade unionist had dented his reputation.

Despite protestations that he does not own the damaged car, insurance information from automotive repairer Renew-it in Sandton lists him as being responsible for its insurance. Siyaya is demanding R5m in damages and an interdict to bar media houses from naming him as the criminal pursuit of Mngoma unfolds in court next month. Judgment was reserved.

The Sunday Times can reveal that the contentious car is registered to North West mining magnate Thapelo Tshepe. He said Gigaba had called for “help” with car trouble ahead of the lockdown.

Norma Gigaba appeared briefly in the Pretoria magistrate’s court on September 14 2020 following her arrest on July 31 2020. She allegedly damaged a R3m Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG which her husband, former minister Malusi Gigaba, had borrowed from a friend.

“I decided to lend him my car as I have other cars and I was not going to use all of them during lockdown.”

“Unfortunately, his wife damaged it… assuming it belonged to Peterson.”

He said that the G-Wagon was insured in his name, but he paid cash for repairs.

“I took the risk to loan [the car] to a friend so I took the responsibility to fix it. I will send summons to Norma to claim payment for the car in a civil case. It would have been fraud to claim from insurance when the car was not damaged in my possession,” Tshepe said.

On Thursday, advocate Snethemba Vobi, for Siyaya, said his client had struggled to raise the money to bring the lawsuit, having to borrow from family and friends. Of the five businesses Siyaya controls, Vobi said: “They are not in a position to generate revenue.”

Siyaya referred questions to his lawyers, who did not respond. 


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