By Tshidi Madia for News24
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba resigned from his post following mounting pressure for President Cyril Ramaphosa to give him the boot.
He decided to step down of his own accord, following a meeting with some of his comrades in the ANC on Tuesday morning, one of the provincial party leaders says.
The presidency confirmed Gigaba’s resignation via a statement in the afternoon, saying he decided to do so “for the sake of our country and the movement to which he belongs”.
“He resigned of his own accord, he showed some remorse and decided to step aside,” Ekurhuleni Mayor and ANC chairperson in the region Mzwandile Masina told News24.
“We met with him in the morning, discussed this issue and said the writing is on the wall and that it was best for him to resign.”
“To stay on and wait to be fired is arrogant,” added Masina.
He said the former minister’s friends and comrades advised him to step down and fight his battles outside of government.
“We said he must think of the ANC and his family, telling him it was best to step aside and fight the issues from outside,” said Masina.
Gigaba has been at the centre of numerous controversies, which led to growing calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to axe him.
In recent weeks Gigaba had: a leaked private video of him engaging in a sexual act; the Constitutional Court’s dismissal of his application for leave to appeal a finding that he lied under oath about approving the Oppenheimers’ private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport; and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane reaching similar conclusions to the court in her own investigation into the Fireblade scandal.
“He needs to apply for different court processes to clear his name. He cannot be a public representative, he cannot sit on boards… it’s about his integrity,” said Masina.
Masina also said Gigaba, out of his love for the ANC and his own contributions to the liberation movement where he once served as ANC Youth League president, agreed.
Internal battles in the ANC
Masina, who has been publicly defending Gigaba, refused to name others who took part in the Tuesday meeting. But said there appeared to be an understanding that the younger generation of leaders within the party, would not get a chance to lead it.
“There is a whole generation being wiped out of government, it has no prospects,” said Masina.
He told News24 this was linked to internal battles within the ANC.
Gigaba himself has previously said there was a campaign to destroy him, accusing Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises of joining in on the campaign after a report into his role at Eskom was leaked.
“We are blaming no one, he is taking responsibility and he will fight,” said Masina of his comrade and friend.