Earlier in February, the High Court in Pretoria handed Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba a bitter blow to his hopes of remaining in office on Friday when it handed down judgment finding that he had lied under oath in his testimony while he was still home affairs minister.
The Democratic Alliance got hold of the judgment shortly before he delivered his budget speech and circulated the damning findings on social media. They said he was also found to have violated the constitution.
They have referred him to the public protector.
The opposition and civil society have also been calling for Gigaba’s removal due to his perceived links to the Gupta family.
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.
The minister said outside parliament in Cape Town, shortly before delivering the Budget Speech, that he would take the matter on appeal and his lawyers were working on the case because “at no stage was there an agreement with Fireblade. Legally you cannot have a private terminal for a family.”