Mmusi Maimane. Picture: SOWETAN
Mmusi Maimane. Picture: SOWETAN

The DA has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately fire home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba and minister for women in the presidency Bathabile Dlamini, if he is committed to taking the country into a new era.

The party has instituted legal proceedings in the North Gauteng High Court, which will hear the matter on March 11. It is asking the court to declare the decision by Ramaphosa to reappoint Gigaba and Dlamini in his February cabinet reshuffle as irrational, unconstitutional and unlawful, and that it should be set aside.

The DA’s court papers argue that the failure of Ramaphosa to take action against Gigaba and Dlamini despite the findings of the courts “serve to undermine the rule of law and democracy”.

While the president has the prerogative to appoint cabinet ministers, his decisions have to be rational and legally defensible, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said at media briefing Monday. He has called on the president not to wait until the court hearing but to immediately remove the two ministers from his cabinet.

Gigaba has been found by the courts to have lied under oath in the matter of the decision to grant the Oppenheimers permission for Fireblade Aviation to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport. He also facilitated the granting of citizenship to members of the Gupta family.

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has called on Ramaphosa to take disciplinary action against Gigaba for his telling lies under oath in breach of the constitution and the code of ethics for the executive.

Dlamini was found by the Constitutional Court to have been personally responsible for the crisis over the payment of social grants and the delay in replacing Cash Paymaster Services as the distributor of social grants.

Maimane said it was necessary for Ramaphosa to clean out his cabinet of ministers who had broken the law. Those who held the highest office in the land had to be above reproach and a servant of the people.

He insisted that Gigaba and Dlamini should be required to pay their own legal costs if they decided to oppose the DA’s application. “As the people of this country we should not be bearing the costs of errant ministers who go to court under the guise that they want to clear their names.”

The DA has also laid criminal charges against Gigaba for perjury.