They don’t want me to be president, says Gigaba

Embattled Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has attributed his recent political setbacks to sinister forces aimed at preventing him from becoming the next ANC leader – and subsequently state president.

Gigaba on Sunday said that he had spent the weekend visiting media houses to defend himself from his “hard-working enemies”.

When asked why he thought there was a political campaign against him, Gigaba said his only conclusion was that “this concentration of attack” was linked to him one day becoming president.

“When this concentration of fury on a single individual happens it cannot be linked with anything else, it has to be linked with the fear that he has got to be stopped now,” he said.

Gigaba has maintained that his hands are clean of any involvement in state capture activities involving the controversial Gupta family.

He has denied playing any role in helping the Guptas capture various state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Last week saw Gigaba with his back against the wall for different reasons including a sex video, for which he apologised to his family and the rest of the country.

He was also summoned to appear before Parliament’s portfolio committee on Home Affairs, to provide clarity on whether he had given permission for the Oppenheimer family to run the Fireblade Aviation terminal at OR Tambo International.

The Oppenheimers appeared before Parliament and said Gigaba had lied about not approving the construction of the terminal. To compound matters, the Constitutional Court dismissed Gigaba’s leave to appeal against the Fireblade ruling.

Then came Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report that President Cyril Ramaphosa must act against Gigaba for violating the Constitution and two ethics codes related to the Fireblade matter.

When asked if he had presidential ambitions, Gigaba said that if he were to be asked to stand “as a member of the ANC in good standing, I would not say no”. However, he said he had not been approached by any ANC structure to avail himself for the future position of party president.

Threatening to wage a bitter war in self-defence, Gigaba said he was surrounded by “militant comrades who would defend him” and that “I am not going to be subjected to this type of victimisation without any consequences.”

Political Bureau