Gigaba to appear before parliamentary committee on Fireblade’s private terminal
The committee says this follows the ConCourt's ruling on Thursday and the Public Protector's Report released stating the minister lied under oath.
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivering the budget speech in Cape Town. Picture: Jacques Nelles
The parliamentary portfolio committee on Home Affairs will next Tuesday, November 6, invite the Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba to clarify the department’s view on the granting of permission for the operation of a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the committee’s chair Hlomani Chauke said: “This follows the Public Protector’s Report released [on Wednesday] that the minister lied under oath and [Thursday’s] Constitutional Court ruling dismissing the minister’s leave to appeal the lower courts ruling on the matter.”
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Gigaba violated the executive ethics code and earlier in February, the High Court in Pretoria handed down judgment finding that Gigaba had lied under oath in his testimony while he was home affairs minister in his first stint.
The Democratic Alliance then referred him to the public protector.
The matter before court related to an aviation company, Fireblade, owned by the Oppenheimer family, which had wanted to open a private international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
The parliamentary committee met the owners of Fireblade on Tuesday, October 30, and the Oppenheimer’s presented their side of the story and alleged that the minister lied, the statement reads.
Chauke said in the statement: “The committee had on various occasions had engagements with the department on the very matter as part of its oversight role over the department.
“The committee’s preoccupation is that the operation of a private terminal is done with a clear agreement that delineates roles and responsibilities and protects taxpayers’ monies.
“The Public Protector’s findings released [on Wednesday] and the Constitutional Court ruling puts into question the admissibility of information that the department has previously put before the committee.”
The meeting next week is to ascertain the department’s view on the matter now, Chauke added.
“It is only fair that the committee affords the department and the minister an opportunity to clarify the matter so that the committee concludes its oversight over the matter.
“The findings of the Public Protector and the Constitutional Court ruling point to a total disregard for the taxpayers’ resources as large sums of money were spent on frivolous litigation on the matter. The committee has to apply its mind on what then needs to happen in recouping the money spent on litigation.
“The committee will, if requested, also present information to the Ethics Committee where the Public Protector report was referred to.”
(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)