Former Minister Malusi Gigaba has claimed the government has refused to pay his legal fees as he prepares to appear before the state capture commission of inquiry chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, Gigaba nevertheless vowed to appear before the inquiry “even if it costs me my home.”
‘My lawyers need R1m’
He wrote, “DCJ Raymond Zondo says I must appear before him, from 8 to 12 March, presumably to help him separate fact from fiction.
“But his secretariat has, so far, ignored my requests to cross examine those who’ve told unsubstantiated fabrications and self-serving distortions about me.
“And the state I was serving, the state which is spending R1 billion on his commission, is refusing to pay the R1 million my lawyers need in order to help me prepare for my appearance. I’ll, however, be appearing before His Lordship. This notwithstanding. Even if it costs me my home.”
Gigaba faces a raft of allegations at the inquiry, including a claim by his former bodyguard that the ex-Minister paid cash, allegedly from money received from the Gupta family, for his tailored suits.
Trips to Guptas ‘not recorded’
“Witness 3,” whose identity was withheld for security reasons, alleged that Gigaba often instructed his protectors not to record his trips to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. The visits allegedly took place between 2010 and 2014.
Gigaba subsequently issued a statement denying the “spurious” allegations and vowed to file an application to cross examine the witness. “I strongly deny any suggestion or insinuation that there is anything unlawful that I did,” he said.
However, his estranged wife Norma Gigaba told eNCA in December last year that he often received cash from the Gupta family. Reports suggest that she is willing to testify at the inquiry.
In 2019, former South African Airways CEO Sizakele Mzimela claimed governance at the airline collapsed when Gigaba became Public Enterprises Minister in 2010.
“Things were beginning to fall through the cracks in terms of the management of information which, for me, was a breakdown in good governance,” he claimed.
In January this year, Gavin Craythorne, a marine diamond mining contractor, also claimed Gigaba’s appointment as Public Enterprises Minister coincided with the “capture” of state-owned diamond mining company Alexkor.