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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Gigaba jumped before Ramaphosa pushed him

His sacking by the president was predicted by many, following his questionable acts as home affairs and public enterprises minister.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has called it quits, saying it’s “for the sake of our country and the movement” to which he belonged.

Yesterday, the Presidency announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa had received a letter of resignation from Gigaba and that he had accepted it.

Ramaphosa also expressed his appreciation for Gigaba’s long-standing service to government and South Africans.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said Gigaba’s fate was sealed and that the ANC was aware of his potential negative impact for its electoral campaign next year.

Fikeni said his resignation was expected as the deadline for his axing was looming.

“There was no other way but for him to step down, either he was going to jump or he was going to be pushed. The things he did in parliament galvanised public opinion against him.

“Also, Gigaba was fingered by many at the Zondo Commission [of Inquiry] into State Capture and the ANC was also making calculations about him.”

Gigaba said in his letter he “further wanted to relieve Ramaphosa of undue pressure and allow him to focus on improving the lives of the people of South Africa”.

He also wanted to allow Ramaphosa to “focus on improving the lives of our people and for him to do the best he can to serve the country and save it from this economic meltdown”.

His sacking was predicted by many, following his questionable acts as home affairs and public enterprises minister.

The message by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to Ramaphosa that he must take “appropriate action” against him for lying under oath, and the earlier rulings by the high court appeared to be the final nail in Gigaba’s coffin. The rejection of his appeal by the Constitutional Court against three earlier rulings by the High Court in Pretoria devastated him.

Gigaba used various platforms to deny that he ever approved the 2016 application by Fireblade Aviation to open a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport. His frenzied denials did not hold as pressure mounted for Ramaphosa to show him the door.

Yesterday, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi welcomed Gigaba’s resignation, calling him “a disgrace and liar”.

“Malusi Gigaba had been a Gupta stooge who was the engine of state capture under Jacob Zuma.”

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