Newly appointed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has reportedly moved in to National Treasury’s Pretoria offices with a large entourage of more than 16 people consisting of ministerial staff and advisers who served him in his previous post at home affairs.
Business Day reported on Wednesday that Gigaba – who was moved to head Treasury following President Jacob Zuma’s shock Cabinet reshuffle last week, which saw former finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, fired, to much public outrage – brought in advisers with questionable backgrounds, with one having links to the controversial Gupta family accused of “state capture”.
The minister’s team consists of political adviser Thamsanqa Msomi, who serves on the board of Denel, and has been reported to have close links to the Guptas, including legal adviser Kholeka Gcaleka.
Gordhan and Jones shared ministerial staff of just nine people, the report said.
Msomi as a board member of Denel, according to the state-owned arms manufacture’s 2015/16 annual report, is understood to have supported legal action against Treasury in March 2017 to legalise its pending venture between Denel and Gupta-linked VR Laser.
Meanwhile, news of Gigaba’s new entourage comes on the back of reports that Treasury’s director-general Lungisa Fuzile plans to leave his post at the end of this month.
Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that three people with knowledge of the matter said Fuzile wanted to resign a year before his contract ran out after being at the helm of the ministry for six years.
His possible resignation has sparked fears of a mass exodus of skilled people in the department with institutional memory.