South Africa’s Embattled Home Minister Resigns

xenophobic Attacks

 

South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba resigned on Tuesday, the presidency announced, two weeks after a public standards watchdog said he had violated the constitution by lying under oath in court.

Gigaba, a close ally of ousted former president Jacob Zuma, had recently vowed not to step down after also being caught up in a leaked sex tape scandal.

A statement from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office announced that Gigaba said he had resigned “to relieve the President from undue pressure” and to allow Ramaphosa to focus on saving the country from “economic meltdown”.

Gigaba, 47, was once seen as rising star of the ANC ruling party, leading the party’s youth wing and being quickly promoted into the ministerial ranks.

But he became entangled in graft allegations during Zuma’s time in office.

Gigaba’s exit removes a key Zuma loyalist from the government led since February by Ramaphosa, who has vowed to root out the corruption reputed to have flourished under Zuma.

Gigaba was reprimanded last month by the public protector ombudswoman after he testified in a 2017 court case filed by a company controlled by the wealthy Oppenheimer family.

Ombudswoman Busisiwe Mkhwebane recommended that Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against the minister for “telling an untruth under oath and before a court of law”.

 Zuma ally

The allegations were probed after a complaint from the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party.

The court case hinged on whether Gigaba had given the Oppenheimer approval to have a private terminal at Johannesburg airport.

Gigaba has also said he was recently the target of extortion attempts after a private sex video was stolen by hacking.

Gigaba served as finance minister for a year under Zuma, who was ousted as president by the ANC party in February over mounting graft scandals.

When Ramaphosa succeeded Zuma, he moved Gigaba to the home affairs ministry.

Gigaba has been linked to corruption allegations against the wealthy Gupta family, who are suspected of benefitting from unfair and hugely lucrative government contracts under Zuma.

A judicial inquiry, which opened in August, is investigating allegations that Zuma and the Guptas organised a web of corrupt deals at government departments and public enterprises in a scandal known as “state capture”.

All the accused deny any wrongdoing.

South Africa, Africa’s most advanced economy, slipped into recession in the second quarter of this year and suffers a stubbornly high unemployment of about 28 percent.

The country will hold general elections in May.

Nhlanhla Nene resigned as finance minister last month over undisclosed meetings with the Guptas.

AFP

South African Minister In Leaked Sex Video Rejects Calls To Quit

Mob Burns Nigerian To Death In South Africa

 

South Africa’s embattled home affairs minister said Sunday he would not resign after the country’s public standards watchdog said he lied under oath and following the leaking of a private sex video.

“I’m not going to resign,” minister Malusi Gigaba told the privately owned eNCA television channel, but added “I will obviously be guided” by the President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling African National Congress.

The country’s ombudswoman on Tuesday said the minister had lied in court while testifying last year in a case filed by a company controlled by the wealthy Oppenheimer family.

The court case hinged on whether Gigaba had approved a private terminal at Johannesburg airport for the Oppenheimer.

In an unrelated case, Gigaba, 47, last Sunday said on twitter he had been the target of extortion attempts by an opposition politician after a sex video emerged following what he described as theft by hacking.

The defiant Gigaba said he was not just simply trying to hang on to his job.

“It’s about fighting to protect my integrity and to protect my image and to ensure that I do not become a victim of devious political campaigns. I will not be trampled upon,” said the minister.

He said he would soon meet president Ramaphosa “to put my side of the story”.

Speaking to public broadcaster SABC, Gigaba added that the leaking of the video had been politically motivated.

“We (Gigaba and his wife) have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of,” he said.

“I dont have a problem…. It was intended to embarrass me, to decapacitate me politically, to humiliate me and my family publicly, to embarrass the African National Congress,” he said.

Ombudswoman Busisiwe Mkhwebane has recommended that Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against the minister for “telling an untruth under oath and before a court of law”.

Gigaba served as finance minister for a year under Jacob Zuma, who was ousted as president in February over corruption. When Ramaphosa succeeded Zuma, he moved him to the home affairs ministry in February 2018.

AFP

South Africa’s Finance Minister Wants Economy Radically Changed

South Africa’s new finance minister, Malusi Gigaba, signaled a swing to the left on Saturday, saying “we need to radically transform the South African economy” while pledging to maintain fiscal stability.

Gigaba also said during a televised news conference that he was committed to protecting South Africa’s cherished investment-grade credit ratings, which analysts have said are threatened after the removal of his predecessor Pravin Gordhan.

Radical economic change in the political language of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) means the redistribution of wealth, land and opportunity to the black majority.

“The ownership of wealth and assets remains concentrated in the hands of a small part of the population. This must change,” Gigaba said.

ANC administrations since Nelson Mandela’s in 1994 have promised to spread prosperity and the government has made strides, including the construction of 4.5 million housing units for the poor and the erection of a social welfare system that puts food on the tables of the most vulnerable.

But South Africa remains one of the world’s most unequal societies, riven by glaring income disparities, an official jobless rate of 26.5 percent, and widespread poverty. The economy is barely growing and inflation threatens to reignite.

President Jacob Zuma, who faces a growing backlash from within his own party after electoral setbacks and missteps that included a fiasco that threatened the payment of social grants to 17 million, has taken a more populist tone on the economy.

Zuma on Saturday spoke about “our stated commitment to advance radical socio-economic transformation” at the launch of a housing project in his home province of KwaZulu Natal.

Zuma has also recently said he wants to change the constitution to expropriate farmland, which remains mostly in white hands, without paying compensation to the owners, raising fears of the land grabs that wrecked Zimbabwe’s economy.

Analysts have said such populism is aimed at the ANC’s rural political base.

Zuma To Address Nigeria’s National Assembly

zumaSouth African President, Jacob Zuma, is billed to arrive in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Monday, ahead of his state visit which will begin on Tuesday.

During the visit, he is expected to address a joint session of Nigeria’s National Assembly on Tuesday.

President Zuma and his host, President Muhammadu Buhari, will also address the South Africa Business Forum.

The South African President arrived with six ministers and a huge business delegation.

In the delegation are the Minister of Trades and Industry, Rob Davies, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister for Energy, Tina Joemat-Peterson, Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane.

Talks are expected to centre on both countries’ bilateral relations and probably the fine on MTN communications by Nigeria as well as Nigeria’s arms money seizures by South Africa.

The Acting Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Martins Cobham, said areas that were perceived to have created some concerns would likely be addressed.

Nigeria is South Africa’s seventh largest trading partner, with crude oil as its major export to South Africa while South Africa has investments in Nigeria in diverse sectors.

South Africa-Nigeria bi-national Commission was established in 1999 and both countries have 34 standing bilateral agreements & Memorandum of Understanding.

A Research Fellow with the University of Johannesburg, Dr. Rita Ozoemena, expects both leaders to discuss the free movement of persons between both countries and also consider their security and economic potential.

Another Research Fellow with Helen Suzeman Foundation, Aubrey Matshiqi, stressed the need for the two countries to find a healthy balance between strategic competition and strategic cooperation.

A Nigerian in South Africa hopes the Nigerian President will discuss issues of police brutality.

Obanikoro Assures Nigerians In South Africa Of Safety

obanikoro-on-xenophobia attackThe Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Musiliu Obanikoro, has assured Nigerians in South Africa that all will be done to restore peace and safety of their lives and property in the country.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Obanikoro said there is ongoing cooperation with South African authorities to keep the situation under control.

The Minister, however, addressed the social challenges that are underlying causes to the xenophobic attacks such as poverty and ignorance.

It is sad that Africans can exert such inhumanity against themselves at this time when growth is needed most in the continent, he said.

Obanikoro also commended the group of South Africans that protested against the attacks. He said that more of such interventions are needed to reduce and eventually eliminate such xenophobic tendencies.

On April 13, the Malawian government said it would help repatriate its citizens from South Africa following the outbreak of xenophobic violence in the eastern port city of Durban.

South Africa’s Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba and the Premier of Kwazulu Natal, Senzo Mchunu, have held a town-hall meeting with members of various communities as part of efforts to resolve the crisis.

A high crime rate and a lack of jobs, among other things, have been blamed on foreigners by some indigenes. A recent statement by the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelinthini, on too many foreigners in the country has not helped. The king has since said he was quoted out of context.