Gigaba has support in his home village
‘We will back him until the last day’
MINISTER of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba may be despised by some, but he still has the support of those he grew up among and those he worked with in his younger days.
Gigaba grew up in Mandeni, northern Kwazulu-natal. He went to Mathonsi Primary School in Mandeni and high school at Vryheid State High School.
Khethokwakhe Mathonsi, an Induna at Gigaba’s village, said despite the political woes Gigaba faced, the people of the area supported him.
“He is our child. We were happy when he was appointed to the important portfolio of finance minister. Clearly the tide was against him but we still throw our weight behind him.”
Mathonsi encouraged the former ANC Youth League president to be strong as he walked through this difficult period.
“Life is not about always eating sweets and drinking milk.
“Sometimes you have to swallow bitter things yet move on with your life, otherwise you will not complete the journey ahead,” said Mathonsi.
Gigaba came under fire when a high court found him guilty of lying under oath. This related to permission he claimed he never gave to the Oppenheimer family whose business, Fireblade Aviation, wanted to operate a private terminal at OR Tambo International.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found he had also lied about the issue in Parliament and recommended that President Cyril Ramaphosa take appropriate action.
Then a video surfaced on social media showing Gigaba touching himself. He claimed it was meant for his wife, Noma Gigaba, and taken illegally off his phone. He subsequently apologised to his family.
Gigaba claimed the crisis he faced was a ploy by some people to block him from becoming the president of the ANC. He told Isolezwe, Sunday Tribune’s sister newspaper, that he would not leave the ANC unless he was “pushed” out.
Ricardo Mthembu, the chairperson of the ANC in Greater Kwadukuza region, under which Mandeni falls, has known Gigaba since the 1980s.
“We believe in him because we know the contribution he has made in the country and the Struggle. It is painful to see a leader that we respect going through such a tough time.
“But we will support (him) because we believe in him,” he said.
Mthembu said he was confident Gigaba was going to emerge unscathed from the crisis that threatened to destroy his political career.
Siphesihle Zulu, the mayor of ilembe District Municipality, which incorporated Gigaba’s village, agreed.
“I have known him for almost 18 years and I know he will come through this stronger. He is a strong man and we will support him until the last day,” said Zulu.
His mother and sister who live in Mandeni declined to comment. IOL.CO.ZA YOU MAY LIKE
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