Johannesburg - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Tuesday welcomed the resignation of Malusi Gigaba as Home Affairs Minister, less than two weeks after the public protector found he had violated the Constitution and Executive Ethics Code by lying under oath.
"The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) welcomes the resignation by the disgraced Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba the liar who has been found by a court of law to have lied under oath," the EFF said in a statement.
"His stubbornness to remain in office despite the undeniable evidence against him regarding the Fireblade Airport saga and his blatant disregard for the rule of law, have made him a dishonourable public representative and have clearly illustrated that he does not have the interests of the people of South Africa at heart."
Gigaba tendered his resignation on Tuesday, and the Presidency confirmed that he handed in his resignation letter.
"The president has accepted the minister’s resignation and expressed his appreciation for Minister’s Gigaba longstanding service to the government and people of South Africa," the Presidency said.
"Minister Gigaba indicated in his letter of resignation that he was stepping aside for the sake of our country and the movement to which he belongs. Further, to relieve the president from undue pressure and allow him to focus on improving the lives of the people of South Africa and for him to do the best he can to serve the country and save it from this economic meltdown."
The finding by the public protector related to Gigaba’s decision to overturn the approval for the Oppenheimer-owned Fireblade Aviation to operate a private customs and immigration service at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
The finding came after a high court in February this year found that he had lied under oath and violated the Constitution by reneging on the approval. Just last week, Gigaba defended his actions, insisting he would not resign but has now done an about-turn.
Gigaba has been severely criticised for his role in granting citizenship to members of the controversial Gupta family, who are at the centre of state capture allegations.
The EFF said Gigaba had been a "Gupta stooge" and had brought shame and corruption during his tenure.
"Malusi Gigaba had been a Gupta stooge who was the engine of state capture under [former president] Jacob Zuma. He ensured that the Guptas attain citizenship in South Africa, aiding them to qualify for deals with state-owned enterprises. Throughout his tenure as minister, Malusi Gigaba has been a shame, corrupt and unpatriotic," the EFF said.
"We also note, that President [Cyril] Ramaphosa has requested the incapacitated [Transport] Minister Blade Nzimande, who is dismally failing in his current portfolio, to act as the minister of home affairs.
"The recycling of old and tired cadres of the [African National Congress] ANC speaks to the heart of the bankruptcy of the party and its leadership. We hope moving forward the president will find a young, fresh and incorruptible mind to lead in this role."
The minister, whose resignation comes into effect on Wednesday, also made headlines after he tweeted that he was being blackmailed after someone had hacked into his phone and leaked a sex tape meant for his wife.
All manner of jokes and ridicule were thrown at Gigaba as the leaked tape went viral and landed on porn websites.
African News Agency (ANA)