The Democratic Alliance (DA) has released a statement detailing their attempts to find out what’s on Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba’s phone.
The party has announced their intention of writing to the chairperson of the home affairs portfolio committee to request that Gigaba’s phone records be subpoenaed.
The statement accuses the minister of lying about the Guptas.
“The DA has no reason to believe that the Minister has been truthful in his characterisation of the nature of his engagements with the Gupta family, or the number of times he met with them,” reads the statement, issued by the party’s MP Haniff Hoosen.
The statement also offers a reminder that the North Gauteng High Court found Gigaba to have lied under oath, and dismissed his attempt to appeal this judgement.
“In a reply to a parliamentary question in April 2016 the Minister said neither he nor the deputy minister had ‘knowingly held any official meetings with persons who are, or who are associates of or employees of any persons whose surname or family name is Gupta,'” the statement reads.
According to the party, Gigaba’s assertion at the portfolio committee on home affairs on Tuesday night that he had only ever met with the Guptas for the purpose of “social cohesion” should be taken with a pinch of salt considering the court’s ruling, which brings his honesty into question.
“If the Minister claims to have no personal relationship with the Guptas and that he has not held any official meetings with them, what exactly is the nature of his engagement with the Gupta family?” asks Hoosen.
“The Minister was defensive and evasive in his responses when these questions were put to him in the inquiry last night, fueling doubts about his commitment to full disclosure of the truth,” he continues.
The DA say that in the past, “captured individuals” have been exposed through their phone records, including former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, who was exposed by Thuli Madonsela in her State of Capture report after she examined his phone records.
“We encourage minister Gigaba to fast-track this process by submitting his mobile devices for forensic examination of his own volition,” says the statement.
Gigaba himself, though, appears to think his hands are clean.
On Tuesday night, the minister came out with a detailed defence against the Gupta allegations in a series of tweets that can be read here.
And it was reported on Wednesday that the minister had maintained that the Gupta family did not receive any favours from himself or his department to gain early naturalisation.
He tweeted on Wednesday morning that his “haters” were having to change tack on attacking him.
You are accused of enabling State Capture by giving the Guptas SAn citizenship. A parliamentary inquiry shows this up to be the lie it is. Instead of admitting to this, your haters suddenly switch to talking about an Oppeinheimer judgement you are appealing at the Concourt.
— Malusi Gigaba (@mgigaba) October 10, 2018
“There is no evidence of a corrupt relationship,” Gigaba replied when pressed about the nature of his relationship with the Indian-born family implicated in a massive rent-seeking scandal believed to have cost the national purse billions of rands.
The question was posed by none other than the DA’s Hoosen, who wrote the statement cited in this article.
Additional reporting by Citizen reporter and ANA