Editorials 15.3.2018 09:54 am

Ramaphosa must let Gigaba hang

Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, who has been found to be lying under oath. Picture: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham/File Photo

Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, who has been found to be lying under oath. Picture: REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham/File Photo

There are few thinking South Africans who would say they trust Malusi Gigaba as a politician.

If President Cyril Ramaphosa gave Malusi Gigaba enough rope to hang himself by assigning him the home affairs portfolio, then the noose tightened a little around Gigaba’s neck after his awful performance in front of parliament’s state capture inquiry committee.

Even by the woefully bad standards set by South African politicians when answering difficult questions, Gigaba’s show was dreadful.

He ducked and dived, he forgot, he gave conflicting answers when it came to the Guptas and did everything to avoid responsibility or accountability for his time in various positions in government … time which saw important developments in the state capture project.

He claimed that he was not involved in, or was unaware of, tender awards in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) when he was public enterprises minister.

He also claimed that the people he appointed to critical positions on the boards and in the management of various SOEs were the best for the jobs.

He kept a straight face when saying these positions “appear to have, in certain instances, been abused”.

Gigaba has, at this juncture, plausible deniability on his side because the long-awaited judicial commission of inquiry has still to get to the details of what went on in the Gupta-influenced network of state capture.

Until it does, Gigaba can get away with his escape and evasion plans.

However, there are few thinking South Africans who would say they trust Malusi Gigaba as a politician – even if we can’t go as far as the EFF did in calling him a compulsive liar.

Trust is something you earn. Gigaba has none.

If anything, his testimony in parliament made citizens even more suspicious of his past conduct and, by implication, highly concerned about what he may try to do if kept in government.

We suggest President Ramaphosa hits the gallows trapdoor on the man.

 

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