Gi­gaba has sup­port in his home vil­lage

‘We will back him un­til the last day’

Sunday Tribune - - METRO - LUN­GANI ZUNGU lun­gani.zungu@inl.co.za

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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Malusi Gi­gaba

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