POLITICAL WEEK AHEAD: Cyril Ramaphosa under pressure to act against Gigaba
President Cyril Ramaphosa will continue to face pressure this week to act against home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba, who was found by the court to have lied under oath by the court and by the public protector to have violated the constitution and the Executive Ethics Code.
The public protector has given Ramaphosa 14 days to act against Gigaba, but in the meantime the president is set to come under further pressure to deal with the matter speedily.
In the next two weeks he is due to file a responding affidavit to an application brought by the DA over Ramaphosa’s failure to axe Gigaba and minister in the presidency Bathabile Dlamini, despite evidence — comprised of damning court judgments — that they violated the constitution.
Gigaba has been attempting to paint himself as a victim, going as far as criticising the courts in an interview with the Sunday Times, saying they relied on “handwritten notes” taken by the Oppenheimer family.
The ruling that Gigaba lied under oath relates to the Fireblade Aviation matter. The Supreme Court of Appeal had dismissed his appeal on that, and last week the Constitutional Court dismissed his request to appeal the judgment against him.
This means the damning judgment against him remains intact, with no further legal room for him to manoeuvre.
Even if Gigaba challenges Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report in court, the court judgment against him stands.
The advisory panel appointed by Ramaphosa to identify and conduct interviews to replace disgraced national director of public prosecutions Shaun Abrahams will begin the shortlisting and interview process to fill the key post on Monday.
This process will run for the next two weeks. Applications and nominations for the post closed on Friday.
Ramaphosa will answer questions in the National Assembly on Tuesday, including an urgent question by DA leader Mmusi Maimane on the extent of the president’s knowledge of the VBS Mutual Bank looting.
Parliament’s standing committee on finance also meets about VBS on Wednesday after the Reserve Bank recommended last week in an application to the high court that the bank be “wound up” as it was “hopelessly insolvent”.
Questions to the economic cluster of ministers take place in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Also on Tuesday, deputy president David Mabuza will answer questions in the National Council of Provinces. This is after he has been off ill.
According to parliament’s spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, there are 44 committee meetings scheduled for this week and plenary sittings in both Houses are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
On Wednesday, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will hold a briefing to announce the dates of the final weekend for voters to register for the 2019 elections. The IEC will also announce the 2016 Municipal Elections Atlas of Results.
It has not indicated whether it will introduce to the public the three new commissioners who start work on Monday, after they were confirmed to the posts by Ramaphosa, according to outgoing deputy commissioner Terry Tselane, who left the IEC after 18 years on Friday.
On Friday, embattled former North West premier and ANC provincial chairperson Supra Mahumapelo heads to court to overturn the party’s decision to disband the provincial executive committee he led.
The move forms part of discussions by the former Zuma faction in their bid to “reclaim” the ANC. Mahumapelo is represented by EFF chairperson advocate Dali Mpofu in the matter to be heard the High Court in Johannesburg.