Whichever way President Cyril Ramaphosa decides to deal with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, there is a chance the latter’s political career could still survive, following his nomination for the 2019 general election in the Ike Maphoto branch in Polokwane, Limpopo, yesterday.
Branch chairperson Mahlatse Kobe told The Citizen yesterday Gigaba’s nomination was proof there was nothing sinister about him at the branch level.
“You must know that Gigaba is a former leader of young people in this country. He’s been elected president of the ANC Youth League three times in a row, in 1996, 1998 and 2001,” Kobe said. “In spite of all the dark clouds hanging around him, neither the ANC nor Ramaphosa have found him guilty.
“To the branches of the ANC, Gigaba is still an active member of the party and he has equal rights to participate in any ANC activities like anyone else. If the ANC, which deployed him in government, hasn’t communicated any wrongdoing of him to us, who then are we to judge him?”
It has been alleged Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and a number of ANC members tried to prevent Gigaba’s nomination, which apparently led to heated arguments and physical confrontations.
Kobe denied any claims of a scuffle, saying members had only engaged in robust deliberations.
A fortnight ago, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane ordered Ramaphosa to take appropriate disciplinary action against Gigaba for lying under oath in court.
Political analyst Lesiba Tefo said: “I find it unfortunate that there are people in this glorious movement in this country who still believe that despite all the problems faced by Gigaba in the past 10 years, he should still be nominated to occupy a public office or to lead the people of South Africa.”
Tefo said he didn’t believe Ramaphosa would like to be seen to be failing to take action against those found to be on the wrong side of the law.
“I think in the next 48 hours, the president is likely to take action or reshuffle his Cabinet, or ask for an extension of time before he makes an announcement.”