Gigaba to account in Parliament

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is set to appear before the Portfolio Committee this afternoon to clarify his department's view on the granting of permission for the operation of Fireblade private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

The Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs invited Gigaba last week following the Public Protector's report, released on Wednesday, which revealed that Gigaba lied under oath and Thursday's Constitutional Court ruling, which dismissed the Minister's leave to appeal the lower court's ruling on the matter.

Last week, the committee met the owners of Fireblade and they presented their side of the story. They alleged that Gigaba lied after he denied approving the operation of an airport terminal for Fireblade Aviation at OR Tambo International Airport.

The committee said it had on various occasions had engagements with Home Affairs on the very matter as part of its oversight role over the department.

Chairperson of the committee, Hlomani Chauke, said the committee's preoccupation is that the operation of a private terminal is done with a clear agreement that delineates roles and responsibilities and protects taxpayers' monies.

"The Public Protector's findings and the Constitutional Court ruling puts into question the admissibility of information that the department has previously put before the committee. The meeting [with Gigaba] is to ascertain the department's view on the matter now," said Chauke.

Chauke said it is only fair that the committee affords the department and the Minister an opportunity to clarify the matter so that the committee concludes its oversight over the matter.

The findings of the Public Protector and the Constitutional Court ruling point to a total disregard for the taxpayers' resources as large sums of money were spent on frivolous litigation on the matter, said Chauke, adding that the committee has to apply its mind on what then needs to happen in recouping the money spent on litigation.

The committee will, if requested, also present information to the Ethics Committee where the Public Protector report was referred to.

Source: South African Government News Agency