Gigaba moved to distance himself from the push to capture SOEs, telling parliamentarians that, as a minister, he had stayed out of operational and procurement matters. “I do not get involved in tenders. It is wrong to say that ministers must involve themselves in tenders. Ministers must not get involved in tenders. They must stay away,” he said.
In his opening statement, Gigaba said the decisions he took were in the interest of good governance. “I appointed people who I viewed as competent to fulfil some very important roles in the (state-owned companies) that were under the (Department of Public Enterprises) portfolio,” he said. “I am severely disappointed that those roles appear to have, in certain instances, been abused.”
Gigaba’s role in Eskom, Denel and Transnet came under the spotlight at the portfolio committee on public enterprises’ inquiry into the mismanagement of state funds in state-owned enterprises. Parliamentarians pinned Gigaba against the wall over questionable decisions he took at public enterprises.
Gigaba said he regretted any role that he inadvertently played in the appointment of any director who subsequently failed to prioritise the interests of the concerned parastatal and South Africa. “At the time, I acted on the facts available to me, and made what I thought at the time were meritorious appointments,” he said.