Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has resigned. File picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency/ANA

Cape Town - The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs on Tuesday acknowledged Malusi Gigaba's "selfless and principled decision" to resign.

Gigaba tendered his resignation as Home Affairs Minister on Tuesday less than two weeks after the public protector found he had violated the Constitution and Executive Ethics Code by lying under oath.

In a statement, the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Hlomani Chauke, noted Gigaba's resignation.

"The committee acknowledges the selfless and principled decision taken by the Minister to resign following damning findings by the Public Protector and the Constitutional court. 

"We would like to thank the Minister for his many years of service to this committee and for the initiatives he had implemented in trying to make the Department of Home Affairs a people-centred department," Chauke said. 

Chauke said the committee would await the announcement of the new executive authority for the department and commit to cooperatively continue to work with the new minister to ensure quality services to the people of South Africa and foreign nationals visiting the country. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has requested Minister of Transport Dr Blade Nzimande to act as Minister of Home Affairs until a permanent appointment is made.

Earlier on Tuesday, the presidency confirmed Gigaba handed in his resignation letter, saying: "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 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.

"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," the presidency said.

"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."

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 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