Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said he intends to appeal a court ruling that stated he lied under oath when he testified while he was minister of home affairs in a case between a company owned by the Oppenheimers and home affairs.
Gigaba said he will make an appeal because he believes the ruling was “fundamentally flawed.” The court denied him leave to appeal so he will now have to make a direct representation to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein.
In denying him leave to appeal, the scathing judgment from a full bench of the high court found that Gigaba had “deliberately told untruths” amounting to him being in breach of the Constitution which, the judge said, can be characterised “as a violation”.
The ruling, which relates to an application made by the company controlled by the Oppenheimers, was handed down in the High Court in Pretoria recently.
The applicant company filed a lawsuit against Gigaba for allegedly going back on an undertaking to delegate officials to staff the company’s immigration and customs facility.
“If somebody says, ‘but minister of home affairs, you’ve granted us the right to operate this service,’ why apply for it again? If I’ve granted the right then go operate. In the context where there is a court decision that says that facility is a Denel facility and Denel has a right to refuse you to operate on it, how can the minister of home affairs say, break the law, trespass into somebody else’s property and go operate? If I allowed the immigration officers to go to a Denel property to operate there I would have been trespassing on a property that doesn’t belong to home affairs,” Gigaba said.
The applicant company sought to develop the facility at one of the country’s biggest airports on land rented from arms manufacturer Denel.
Following the court ruling, the main opposition party, the DA, laid a formal complaint with the public protector calling for Gigaba to be investigated for lying under oath and violating the constitution.
Shortly before the minister delivered his 2018 Budget Speech, DA chief whip, John Steenhuisen posted an excerpt of the court ruling on social media.
Just two of the many scathing findings of a full bench of the Pretoria High Court against Minister Malusi Gigaba???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/xEAW4wziEB
— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) February 21, 2018
The Economic Freedom Fighters – citing reasons of their own, which include claims that Gigaba is a “stooge” of the controversial Gupta family and was complicit in state capture – boycotted the budget speech, calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately remove him as finance minister.
Speaking at a Morning Live Post 2018 Budget Speech breakfast this morning, Gigaba called this grandstanding which oppositions party are entitled to practice.
“All of the issues they are are raising, on fact, are absolutely incorrect,” he said.