Then Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba with then-Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa on April 18, 2017 ahead of a visit to the USA .
By Pieter du Toit
inside early 2000s Malusi Gigaba was headed for the top.
He was president of the influential ANC Youth League (ANCYL), which had begun to flex its political muscle inside a party in firm control of South Africa’s young democracy.
Under then president Thabo Mbeki the ANCYL was increasingly claiming the role in which Peter Mokaba, a firebrand former leader, had envisaged for the idea: militant, outspoken as well as unafraid. as well as in Gigaba – smart as well as articulate – the ANC found the right person to lead the so-called “young lions”. The ANCYL started off taking part in national debates – about black economic empowerment, transformation, sports quotas – as well as positioned itself as the progressive as well as radical wing of Mbeki’s party, with Gigaba at the forefront.
however the ANCYL never veered too far away coming from Mbeki as well as although the idea often took controversial positions to test the political waters, the ANCYL was very much part of the furniture at Luthuli House. Gigaba became an MP in 1999 as well as was elected ANCYL president three times between 1996 as well as 2004, the year in which he was appointed deputy minister of home affairs by Mbeki.
Gigaba first served on the ANC’s national executive committee (NEC) in 2002 as well as was re-elected in 2007 after switching his allegiance coming from Mbeki to Zuma. His higher position on the final list of NEC members reflected in which, as well as he was rewarded which has a full ministry in 2010, after Zuma dismissed Barbara Hogan as minister of public enterprises.
He was always considered the leader of the next generation, overtaking his successor during their youth league days, Fikile Mbalula, as a favourite of the Zumaites as well as was often mentioned as a possible future ANC leader as well as president by those inside know.
however the idea was his tenure as public enterprises minister in which did much to taint him, with his mandated adjustments to boards of state-owned enterprises in which allegedly left various state companies such as Eskom as well as Transnet vulnerable to state capture.
On Monday at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, Hogan testified about how Gigaba replaced the Transnet board shortly after he was appointed minister as well as in which the board promptly reinstated Siyabonga Gama, who was dismissed after an investigation into tender irregularities.
The Gupta project of grand state capture, however, was to firmly ensnare Gigaba as well as he was to become closely associated with the parasitic as well as corrosive nature of institutionalised corruption. Not only were various parastatals opened up to networks of patronage during his tenure at public enterprises, however when he was transferred to home affairs, his department as well as office went out of their way to assist the Guptas with immigration issues.
The #Guptaleaks emails revealed how he instructed two senior immigration officials to be transferred to India where they assisted the Guptas, while an academic study titled Betrayal of the Promise identified him among the central enablers of state capture.
His status inside Zuma ring as a trusted enforcer was confirmed in April 2017 when he as well as Sifiso Buthelezi were rushed to National Treasury to replace the fired duo of Pravin Gordhan as well as Mcebisi Jonas who were dismissed as minister as well as deputy minister of finance. Gordhan as well as Jonas had been locked in conflict with Zuma as well as his network of cronies ever since Zuma showed his hand in 2015 when he launched an open assault on Treasury by firing then minister Nhlanhla Nene.
Gigaba was considered a safe pair of hands, pliable as well as, unlike Gordhan as well as Jonas, without the fortitude as well as conviction to defend the national purse. Treasury insiders spoke of a minister which has a lack of experience as well as knowledge of financial matters who only saw the finance ministry as a pit-stop to the presidency.
He only tabled one budget before being shifted by Ramaphosa after the palace revolt which saw Zuma resign the presidency in February. His position was always considered precarious, alongside in which of ministers Nomvula Mokonyane as well as Bathabile Dlamini, as well as his retention in Cabinet was interpreted as an attempt to unite the factions in which formed before the ANC’s elective conference in December 2017.
Gigaba’s position weakened dramatically over the last two weeks after the Constitutional Court as well as the Public Protector castigated him for lying inside Fireblade/Oppenheimer saga. as well as the idea was further undermined when he had to pre-empt the Discharge of an embarrassing video of a sexual nature.
After Ramaphosa spoke to the ANC’s parliamentary caucus last week, some MPs said the idea was clear in which he wanted Gigaba to go. The president spoke of “doing the right thing when you’ve been found wanting” as well as “putting the interests of the party before in which of the individual”. Exactly a week after the caucus meeting, he did precisely in which.
Gigaba was a flashy politician who only wore expensive fitted suits, tailored shirts as well as what looked like quadruple Windsor knotted ties – he once wore the uniform of an SAA pilot to the opening of Parliament. He liked attention, his private life was the subject of many gossipy stories in Sunday newspapers as well as his political life arranged depending on the prevailing winds.
His rise was steady as well as sure as well as his demise inevitable as well as public. in which’s what happens when you mix with the wrong crowd.