Home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba has finally bowed to huge pressure to resign. He handed his resignation letter to the presidency, which said in a statement that he was doing it in the interests of the country.
“The President has accepted the Minister’s resignation and expressed his appreciation for Minister Gigaba’s longstanding service to the government and people of South Africa,” the presidency said.
The normally Twitter-friendly Gigaba last tweeted on November 10, and had not personally announced the news.
He reportedly met with President Cyril Ramaphosa last week in a final effort to save his job.
The meeting reportedly took place on Friday following Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s recent finding that Gigaba violated the executive ethics code and lied under oath.
Ramaphosa met Gigaba at his private residence to listen to the minister’s side of the story.
Gigaba was also subject to public humiliation when a sex video of him was leaked.
“Mr Gigaba was appointed as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs in 2004 and subsequently served as Minister of Public Enterprises, Minister of Finance and – for two intervals – as Minister of Home Affairs,” added the presidency.
“Minister Gigaba indicated in his letter of resignation that he was stepping aside for the sake of our country and the movement to which he belongs. Further to relieve the President from undue pressure and allow him to focus on improving the lives of the people of South Africa and for him to do the best he can to serve the country and save it from this economic meltdown.
“President Ramaphosa has requested Minister of Transport Dr Blade Nzimande to act as Minister of Home Affairs until a permanent appointment is made.”
Earlier in February, the High Court in Pretoria handed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba a bitter blow to his hopes of remaining in office when it handed down judgment finding that he had lied under oath in his testimony while he was home affairs minister in his first stint.
The Democratic Alliance then referred him to the public protector.
The matter before court related to an aviation company, Fireblade, owned by the Oppenheimer family, which had wanted to open a private international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
Judge Neil Tuchten found that the minister had been deliberate in his untruths.
“The minister has committed a breach of the Constitution so serious that I could characterise it as a violation.”
The company had sued Gigaba for allegedly reneging on his pledge to make officials available to them to staff their customs and immigration facility. Gigaba denied that he had approved the terminal, but the court ultimately found against him.