Kevin Ritchie. File image.
Kevin Ritchie. File image.

Norma Gigaba, an unlikely ambassador for Women’s Day

By Opinion Time of article published Aug 8, 2020

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By Kevin Ritchie

Norma Gigaba might be an unlikely ambassador for Women’s Day 2020 – but if you ever needed proof of the much storeyed wathint’ abafazi,wathint’ imbokodo,uza kufa (you strike a woman, you strike a rock, you die), then her perpetually priapic spouse might finally have met his match.

La Gigaba appeared in court on Monday. She’s purported to be the person who wrought the eye watering damage on a Mercedes Benz G Wagon, which retails for just over R3-million. The damage, a masterclass of keying which left not a single body panel unscathed in a tramline of temper, will cost at least 10 percent of that to repair.

But, as the advertisers would remind us, the true figure is priceless. No one knows that better than Malusi Gigaba – more famous for his venal friendships, f*****g the system and being the first cabinet minister (perhaps in the world) to star on Porn Hub, cooing at his own tumescence as he filmed himself.

The car doesn’t belong to him but apparently his friend, Peterson Siyaya. Siyaya is ostensibly a trade union leader, who after a ferocious reaction on social media, was then reimagined as a trade unionist and ‘businessman’ to try to explain away owning a car like this when union members are facing the reality of living in a country with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.

Gigaba though seems to have been using the car. It was Gigaba who opened the case against his wife, who he believes is out to have him killed. She was arrested last Friday by the Hawks no less, at a time when the growing ranks of state capturers continue to count their ill-gotten gains at home untroubled by any threat of legal retribution.

Given the timing, there was every possibility Noma Gigaba might have had to spend the entire weekend there. Given the crimes she’s accused of; malicious damage to property and crimen injuria, it seems both remarkably disproportionate and petty to hold her overnight in the cells. It looks vindictive.

If it was supposed to cow her, it failed spectacularly. On Monday she arrived at court with not one but two senior counsels for a first court appearance. These weren’t just two ‘ordinary’ silks either; one was probably the most politically visible in the country and the other widely lauded as the sharpest advocate of his generation.

The Hawkes were duly humiliated; the magistrate ordered her impressive array of cell phones, tablets and computers – which had been seized with a warrant – returned to her. Patriarchy, and especially our brand of toxic masculinity in this country which is infused by privilege, pricks and power cars, got a very serious kick in the balls – on all three counts.

As for Gigaba, he might finally be edging ever closer to the answer he posed on that infamous cell phone clip almost two years ago: “Can you imagine…?” If this case ever goes the distance, there’ll be a lot he wished he could have left to the public’s imagination.

Happy Women’s Day!

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