- Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is heading back to the courts to fight the Oppenheimers in a case which is threatening his cabinet position
- Gigaba has thus far failed to convince the courts that he did not approve a private terminal for Fireblade Aviation at OR Tambo International Airport
- Gigaba is applying to the Constitutional Court to argue that such a deal would, in any case, be illegal and unconstitutional.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is heading to the Constitutional Court to challenge the Oppenheimer family’s Fireblade Aviation in a matter which is posing a serious threat to his cabinet position.
Gigaba has thus far failed to convince the courts that he did not approve a private terminal to be used by Fireblade at OR Tambo International Airport. The minister will now be applying to the Constitutional Court to argue that such a deal would, in any case, be illegal and unconstitutional.
Gigaba allegedly approved the private terminal in early 2016, he has vehemently denied approving such a facility. The Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) dismissed Gigaba’s appeal of a High Court judgement which found he had approved the terminal and of greater concern found he had lied under oath and was in breach of the Constitution.
Briefly.co.za gathered that Gigaba and the Department of Home Affairs has since the SCA ruling obtained fresh legal opinion, which advised he could make a solid case before the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court refused to hear the matter earlier this year, saying it needed to be exhausted by the SCA first.
The High Court judgment which found Gigaba had lied under oath has left him fighting for political survival. President Cyril Ramaphosa said in Parliament the judgement was of great concern and he would be giving it due and proper consideration.
Political analysts have taken the statement to mean that Ramaphosa was considering taking action against Gigaba and could even dismiss him.
Gigaba is now convinced that if the court order is not reversed other wealthy families in South Africa will feel entitled to their own personal terminals at major airports.
The case Gigaba hopes to argue before the Constitutional Court is whether a minister can effectively contract with a private party to allow for state resources to be placed at the disposal of a private party for its own commercial interests.
Gigaba is likely to argue that the High Court ruling might trespass into the realm of policy-making by forcing him to a decision which has no basis in the law.
Gigaba is still undecided about whether he will challenge the judge’s comments that he lied.
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