Malusi Gigaba. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER
Malusi Gigaba. Picture: ESA ALEXANDER

The Constitutional Court has dismissed home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba's final attempt to appeal against a high court judgment that found he had lied under oath in his legal battle with the Oppenheimer family.

On Monday, the apex court dismissed Gigaba's application for leave to appeal, saying it ‘‘bears no prospects of success’’.

This is the fifth blow Gigaba suffered in the courts in relation to this matter.

The judgment was handed down two days before public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that the minister had violated the constitution and the executive ethics code by lying in court.

Mkhwebane investigated a complaint laid by DA parliamentary chief whip John Steenhuisen after the high court in Pretoria found in December 2017 that Gigaba had told “untruths” under oath in the matter between him (in his capacity as home affairs minister) and the Oppenheimers’ Fireblade Aviation, in a legal battle about operating a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

Mkhwebane said Steenhuisen’s allegation was substantiated and gave Gigaba an opportunity to respond, but he failed to do so.

She has directed President Cyril Ramaphosa to take appropriate disciplinary action against Gigaba for violating the constitution, the ethics code and parliament’s own code of ethics.

She did not say what the appropriate action should be.

There are indications that Gigaba will take the public protector's report on review. 

Fireblade took Gigaba to court in 2016 after he rejected its application to operate a luxury international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.

The Oppenheimers accused Gigaba of reversing his approval under pressure from the Gupta family, exerted through the former chair of Denel, Daniel Mantsha.

Fireblade leases the terminal land from Denel.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za

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