Neo Thale
Night digital supervisor
2 minute read
20 May 2021
6:01 pm

Malusi had phones wiped to avoid being ‘Brian Molefed’, claims Mngoma

Neo Thale

According to Mngoma, Gigaba did not want the same fate as Molefe to befall him, as he planned to lie about the frequency of his Gupta visits.

Nomachule Gigaba, known as Norma Mngoma, has intimated that her arrest last year, ostensibly for malicious damage to property and crimen injuria, was a move to disguise the wiping of information about the Guptas from her electronic devices.

Returning to the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Mngoma said in October 2020, prior to her devices being confiscated by the Hawks, her estranged husband, former finance minister Malusi Gigaba, had requested that she give him her cellphone and other electronic devices.

ALSO READ: Guptas knew about Cabinet appointments ahead of time – Norma Mngoma

This came after Mngoma had requested a divorce, which Malusi declined, citing his preoccupation with preparing his submission for the commission and his PhD.

Mngoma claimed that Gigaba did not want a divorce because that would mean that he would no longer enjoy spousal privilege during the inquiry, where Mngoma would be unable to testify against him.

“He [Malusi] came to me last year and said there was someone he knows in IT and wants to wipe information from my devices. I asked why and he said he was worried about information I had on the devices,” Mngoma said.

Mngoma said Gigaba motivated his request by alluding to former Eskom chief executive officer Brian Molefe and his visits to the Gupta compound.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela revealed in 2016, in her state capture report, that Molefe was a frequent visitor at the Gupta brothers’ compound in Saxonwold. She had used Molefe’s cellphone to determine the frequency of his visits

According to Mngoma, Malusi did not want the same fate to befall him, as he planned to say he had only been there “two or three times” in his submission to the commission.

ALSO READ: A brief history of Norma Mngoma and Malusi Gigaba’s stormy relationship

Mngoma said she encouraged him to tell the truth but he declined.

Mngoma said a few days after, while they were in their home, Malusi informed her that the Hawks had arrived to wipe the devices.

“I went to bedroom [accompanied by an officer] and took my iPad, laptop. They asked for my Huawei phone and I didn’t tell them about it,” Mngoma said.

After some wrangling over her device passwords, the Hawks officers took her devices in a plastic bag.

Two weeks later, Mngoma said, the Hawks returned her devices but she was then arrested for damaging a Mercedes-Benz SUV.

ALSO READ: Charges against Malusi Gigaba’s ex dropped

Commission chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, interjected and asked Mngoma about the information on her devices upon their return to her.

“Everything about the Guptas was deleted, including the trips to Dubai paid for by the Guptas, pictures of the car they [Guptas] bought for him and a picture of the henna [tattoo] I had done at the Sun City wedding,” Mngoma said.

Watch her testimony live below, courtesy of the SABC.