Cape Town - Scandal-plagued Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has tapped into a well of public sympathy following his latest brush with controversy.
Of late Gigaba has become more known for his association with controversial Gupta family, and his threats of legal action against media personality Redi Thlabi for one of her tweets claiming he had amended visa regulations for travelling with children because of a personal vendetta.
On Sunday morning Gigaba told his 136 000 followers on Twitter that he and his wife “had learned with regret, and sadness that a video containing material of a sexual nature, meant for our eyes only, which was stolen when my communication got illegally intercepted/my phone got hacked, in 2016/17, is circulating among certain political figures”.
Gigaba is one of the few cabinet ministers who is quite active on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, alongside his wife.
Their presence has solicited scorn from the public but has also drawn admiration from young ANC supporters who view them as a hip couple.
Soon after the admission, the video of Gigaba masturbating into a cellphone camera was leaked on the same social network.
South Africans were at first bemused, Gigaba being the latest senior government official to be caught with his pants down, but later rallied to his side.
Even one of Gigaba’s fiercest critics, talk radio host Eusebius McKaiser was sympathetic to the minister, saying that his privacy should be protected.
On SAfm, callers to Stephen Grootes’ breakfast show said Gigaba’s privacy should be protected and that the video had no relation to his work as a senior government minister.
For the time being, it’s unlikely that Gigaba will be forced to resign, considering that many his cabinet colleague are hoarding their own “smallanyana skeletons”.