File picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency/ANA.

Parliament – The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs has invited Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba to give more clarity on the decision to grant Fireblade permission to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

This comes after the committee on Tuesday met the owners of Fireblade, the Oppenheimer family, who gave their side of the story and hinted that Gigaba lied about matters related to the saga.

Chairperson Hlomani Chauke on Thursday said the committee's preoccupation was that the operation of the private terminal "is done with a clear agreement that delineates roles and responsibilities and protects taxpayers' monies". 

"The Public Protector's [Busisiwe Mkhwebane] findings released on Wednesday and the Constitutional Court ruling puts into question the admissibility of information that the department has previously put before the committee. The meeting next week is to ascertain the department's view on the matter now.

"It is only fair that the committee affords the department and the Minister an opportunity to clarify the matter so that the committee concludes its oversight over the matter. "

Mkhwebane on Wednesday found that Gigaba violated the Constitution and Executive Ethics Code when he told an "untruth under oath" during the Fireblade Aviation court battle.

The ConCourt a day later, dismissed Gigaba's application for leave to appeal against a high court ruling on the same matter.

Chauke said the PP and ConCourt's findings "point to a total disregard for the taxpayers resources as large sums of money were spent on frivolous litigation on the matter. The committee has to apply its mind on what then needs to happen in recouping the money spent on litigation".

"The committee will, if requested, also present information to the Ethics Committee where the Public Protector report was referred to."

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