Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises is now part of a “campaign” aimed at destroying Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. This is according to the embattled minister, following reports of a leaked preliminary report into electricity provider Eskom.
According to Business Day, Gigaba and former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Browne are among 44 people and 25 companies who should be criminally investigated over alleged mismanagement and corruption at the utility.
This comes in the wake of calls for Gigaba to be fired or even resign. He has refused to do the latter, leaving it to President Cyril Ramaphosa to make a decision.
“It’s a well-orchestrated political campaign. It is unfortunate that the portfolio committee has thrown itself into the very same process,” Gigaba told journalists on Monday.
He made the comments following a walkabout through the Lindela repatriation centre, where he was meeting with his Kenyan counterpart, Interior Minister Dr Fred Matiang’i.
Gigaba insisted that he was the victim of a smear campaign and said he would approach his party, the ANC, and his lawyers to intervene.
“I am going to consult on what to do with this, because it’s quite clear that I don’t think the ANC has to take this thing lightly. I am a member of the ANC in good standing. I do not deserve to be treated in this fashion,” he said.
The minister, who has made headlines over several scandals recently, said the leaking of the Eskom report was part of attempts to vilify his name.
“In terms of which things are leaked deliberately, without me being given first preference to respond to the allegations, because I’ve not been given the privilege of receiving the draft report to study it and to comment on it, so that I can correct any inaccuracies or incorrect information which is contained in the report,” complained Gigaba.
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“Unfortunately, the pattern has been to vilify his name first,” he said.
He claimed that the aim behind the leaked information about him was an attempt to subject him to a kangaroo court.
“You’ve subjected him to a public lynching. You ensure that, by the time he gets to respond to the vilification, he already has been so vilified, that you’ve created a public narrative and opinion of wrongdoing already,” said Gigaba.
He refused to comment further on the matter, when he was due to meet with the president, or the submissions he planned to make against calls that he should be released from his job.