Gigaba to be grilled over Oppenheimer’s private terminal

Parliament is preparing to grill Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Tuesday over his decision to give permission for Oppenheimer-owned Fireblade Aviation to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Nicky Oppenheimer said the family received permission to offer a customs and immigration service at the airport in 2016. Oppenheimer told Parliament’s home affairs committee last Tuesday that the agreement was made in a “cordial meeting” in January 2016.

“The minister lied to this committee, and I take offence that he suggested we bribed somebody or stole a document. I find that very offensive,” Oppenheimer toldParliament last week.

Gigaba has insisted that he never gave the Oppenheimer family permission. But last Wednesday, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane released a report that confirmed Gigaba had violated the Constitution, the Executive Ethics Code and Parliament’s Code of Ethics by lying under oath about the Fireblade saga.

READ MORE: ‘Gigaba lied’ – Public Protector

Mkhwebane’s findings confirmed a Pretoria high court ruling in December 2017 that Gigaba lied about his agreement with the Oppenheimers under oath.

The family had told the court that the Gupta family had influenced Gigaba to turn down their request.

On Monday, the DA announced that it was heading to court to ask for a review of President Cyril Ramaphosa decision to reappoint Gigaba and Bathabile Dlamini to his cabinet. Both Gigaba and Dlamini have been found to have lied under oath.

Gigaba had planned to challenge Mkhwebane’s report at the Constitutional Court, but his application last Thursday was dismissed.

Timeslive reported that three separate rulings by the Pretoria high court, a full bench court and the Supreme Court of Appeal had all upheld the Pretoria high court ruling.

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