Back story: How Gigaba was pushed

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Back story: How Gigaba was pushed

The now former home affairs minister quit after a meeting at the Ekurhuleni mayor's house

Journalist


Former home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba stepped down after he was advised by his peers in the ANC to resign on Tuesday morning.
Gigaba met his allies in Alberton, and the meeting was chaired by his friend, Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina.
Masina confirmed meeting Gigaba just hours before the presidency announced his resignation.
“We advised him to step aside in the interest of the ANC. We have an election coming and we need to concentrate on the elections,” said Masina.
The meeting at Masina’s house was attended by 10 ANC leaders who were Gigaba’s contemporaries in the ANC Youth League.
Times Select understands that after the meeting decided that Gigaba should submit his resignation, he was told to consult with his wife, Norma, and his family.
“His family understood and then he sent his letter,” a prominent former youth league leader said.
Gigaba was told it was easier to recover from resigning from office than being fired by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
He was told in the meeting to resign from parliament as well to focus on ANC work.
A presidency statement noted that Ramaphosa accepted the errant minister’s resignation.
“Minister Gigaba indicated in his letter of resignation that he was stepping aside for the sake of our country and the movement to which he belongs. Further to relieve the president from undue pressure and allow him to focus on improving the lives of the people of South Africa and for him to do the best he can to serve the country and save it from this economic meltdown,” it said.
Ramaphosa had until Wednesday to act against Gigaba, who was found by the public protector to have violated the Constitution, the Executive Members’ Ethics Act and the parliamentary code of conduct.
This was after the courts found he lied to parliament in the Fireblade case.
Gigaba’s axing was imminent as the Sunday Times reported on Sunday that his fate was discussed with five of the ANC’s top officials on the sidelines of the special national executive committee meeting earlier this month.
Gigaba’s generation of ANC leaders believe they are under attack to prevent them from inheriting the ANC. They suspect the older generation of being behind a move to discredit them so that they don’t contest for positions at the party’s national conference.
Gigaba, they claim, is under attack because he is perceived as an obvious choice for president, should they take over.
Masina further denied claims that Gigaba had been given an ultimatum by Ramaphosa.
“He was not under duress. He didn’t have a gun against his head.”
Nine days before he submitted his resignation Gigaba reportedly said: “If I do that [resign], I will be giving in to a devious plot ... No, they must bring the war, I am ready for it. I am going to fight it to the bitter end.”
Gigaba was unavailable for comment.

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