Gigaba claims estranged wife Norma Mngoma tried to trap him
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Johannesburg - Former minister Malusi Gigaba claimed his estranged wife, Norma Mngoma, tried to "trap" him and described her as an "accomplished" and "extensive" liar.
He disputed her affidavit where she claimed Ajay Gupta told Gigaba about his ministerial appointment before it happened.
He also alleged that Mngoma misrepresented details around their divorce.
According to Gigaba, Mngoma approached him in January this year and made several propositions to him.
He said Mngoma asked him to finalise their divorce and agree on a settlement amount because "she cannot walk away with nothing".
She also allegedly asked him to withdraw the criminal case against her where she damaged his friend's vehicle.
Gigaba said she told him that she could withdraw from giving evidence at the State Capture Commission.
"I told her that the commission didn't just pick on her. She did an interview on eNCA and offered herself to the commission," he said.
He said she insisted his lawyers speak to her legal representatives regarding her demands. He said it was not long after that that Mmgoma did an interview with City Press where she claimed he tried to bribe her not to give evidence at the commission.
"I called my lawyers and told them this was all a trap. There will be no more communication with her lawyers," Gigaba said.
The former minister returned to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture to continue his evidence on Transnet-related contracts and issues while he was the Minister of Public Enterprises.
Even though former Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe scored less than another candidate on his interviews, he was still given the top job.
Gigaba said they wanted Molefe to run the parastatal as he had worked for the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) – one of the country’s largest investment funds.
Gigaba stated that the board shortlisted three candidates but did not indicate their preferred candidate. He also maintained that there was nothing untoward about Molefe’s appointment and they had followed the proper procedures before the Cabinet’s approval. He said there was a “commendable progress” after Molefe was appointed.
Earlier, the commission heard Transnet-related evidence from its former chief financial officer, Anoj Singh.
The Zondo Commission heard how the Gupta enterprise pocketed about 85% of the total estimated R49 billion of state funds via dodgy deals at Transnet.
Singh was chief financial officer of Transnet at the time, but told Justice Zondo that he had no knowledge about the Guptas’ looting of the state.
Justice Zondo called on Singh to explain how the Guptas were able to make away with billions of rand under his watch at the parastatal.
“Either you were party to their agenda or you were so incompetent that you couldn’t see all of this. There may be another scenario, but I can’t think of anything else,” Justice Zondo said.
Singh also stunned the inquiry when he said that the highly irregular contract for the procurement of 1 064 locomotives – that set the scene for the greatest Gupta looting – was “quite a significant achievement” in South African history.
“I think it was quite a significant achievement for Transnet to acquire 1 064 locos in the time that it did. I think it’s probably quite significant in South Africa, if not globally.
“I mean you don’t have a company that orders 1 100 locomotives at any given time,” Singh said.
But Justice Zondo intercepted to ask Singh to clarify his statement.
“Do you think people will remember that more than the corruption? That’s the first thing that comes to people’s minds when we talk about those transactions – the corruption,” Justice Zondo said.
Evidence leader advocate Anton Myburgh added that the cash-flow evidence showed Essa earned 50% in all fees paid to Regiments Capital by McKinsey from contracts awarded by Transnet.
“Just so that the public understands this. You were relying on the advice of an organisation (Regiments); it was paying 50c for every rand to Mr Essa (Gupta-associate Salim Essa).
“I mean, do you understand how radical that is?” Myburgh asked.
Singh said he had no idea Essa was earning these kickbacks or that he was even involved in the procurement of locomotives.