EFF has called for the axing of home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba for allegedly lying under oath on facts surrounding the permission granted to Oppenheimers to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Cape Town - EFF has called for the axing of embattled home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba for allegedly lying under oath on facts surrounding the permission granted to Oppenheimers to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

Gigaba appeared before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday, where he was expected to answer on the decision to grant the Oppenheimers permission and the public protector’s report which found that he lied under oath.

EFF MP Hlengiwe Mkhaliphi said following the report by the public protector, and the Constitutional Court ruling dismissing his appeal, Gigaba should be axed. 

“The minister remains a constitutional delinquent because the Constitutional Court has announced and found minister lying under oath. If we are going to allow the minister today to talk about this Fireblade matter, we are second guessing the report of the public protector,” said Mkhaliphi.

Gigaba has denied granting Fireblade Aviation permission to operate a VVIP terminal, contrary to court findings, which he appealed and lost, and a public protector report. 

The public protector report recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa discipline Gigaba for perjuring himself and violating the Constitution as a member of the executive.

He told the committee that talks on the private terminals between government and the Oppenheimers date from 2012.

Mkhaliphi, however, said there was no place for Gigaba and Cabinet, that he must resign.

“We must not find ourselves as this committee to appear confused. We have invited the minister, and the Constitutional Court declined the appeal. The minister remains someone who lied under oath, that must be clear. There is nothing we can do. The public protector pronounced on the same matter. 

“The only thing that the minister has to do is resign or the president must fire the minister. Those are the only options. We must not find ourselves being addressed by someone who is a constitutional delinquent,” said Mkhalipha.

MPs agreed that since the court and the public protector have pronounced on the Fireblade matter, Gigaba should not be questioned on the matter, but the Department of Home Affairs.

DA’s Haniff Hoosen, however, said Gigaba should not accuse those who continue to speak on the matter outside Parliament as having a “political vendetta” against him. He said Gigaba was given an opportunity to give his side of the story but failed to do so.

“When Minister was given the opportunity to explain why he lied under oath, he chose not to. He must not complain going forward that people are being unfair to him, that people have a political vendetta against him. 

“He must complain that there is an avalanche of pressure against him because he was given the opportunity but he did not use it,” said Hoosen.

Political Bureau