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Gigaba accuses estranged wife of “extensive lies”


FORMER finance minister Malusi Gigaba has described his estranged wife Nomachule as an “extensive and accomplished liar”.

Malusi appeared at the Zondo judicial commission into state capture to respond to allegations made by Nomachule, who among others alleged that her estranged husband received gifts of cash, a luxury vehicle from the influential Gupta family, whom he regarded as “advisors”.

Malusi, who is also a former minister of home affairs and public enterprises, told commission chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that Nomachule had taken it for a ride.

Malusi said the commission was being used by his estranged wife to solicit a divorce settlement. 

He further said Nomachule had no evidence to back her claims. “All her affidavits are based on, ‘I heard, I overheard and I saw’,” he said. 

Malusi said of the many lies Nomachule had told him, one of them was that her father was a businessman who lived in New York.

“She would come to see me in different vehicles that she said were hers, including an ML (Mercedes Benz) and (BMW) 320 and a BMW 120 series and so on. I knew her to be this high flying IT executive who had worked at IBM, who had worked at various other top notch well-paying IT companies. Around 2011, she then told me that her father in New York had passed away and left her a very, very handsome inheritance that was held on her behalf by an uncle called Mthoko. I have never met this Mthoko. My understanding was that this was a wealthy woman from a well-to-do family whose relatives were living in New York and various other places. She had lived with her father at Musgrave (in Durban) while she was a student at Natal Tecor ML Sultan College, which turns out was also not true,” he said.

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He said this is why he did not question her when she announced that they were travelling to Mauritius before their wedding. He said he understood that his “wealthy” wife had paid for the trip. Nomachule alleged in her testimony that former SAA chair Dudu Myeni paid for the trip.

Malusi alleged that Nomachule had the ability to embellish her CV and importance and had fibbed when she said she had a university degree in IT and that she was responsible for the ID card project when he was minister of home affairs. 

In response to questions from evidence leader Advocate Anton Myburgh, he said he knew and had met the Gupta family and had visited their Saxonwold, Johannesburg home. He however denied, as alleged by Nomachule, that he visited the Gupta home more than 20 times and that AJ Gupta had visited the couple’s Pretoria home. He also said it was not true that the couple took one of their children on a visit to the Guptas. He conceded that the son was given a gold necklace as a gift but said it was handed to him.

Malusi also denied that he first heard from the Gupta family that then President Jacob Zuma would appoint him as Minister of Public Enterprise. “I was never told by AJ Gupta that I will be a minister. I never came home excited. Two appointments that surprised me. The first was Public Enterprises and the second Treasury. I had never considered myself suitable for those positions,” he said.

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He rejected Nomachule’s version that he was at the Waterkloof Airbase in Pretoria to welcome guests to the Gupta wedding. The landing of their private aircraft at a national keypoint attracted a national outcry. Malusi said he saw the landing on TV and was “aghast like everyone else” about it. 

The former minister said it was not true that he had discussed Transet tenders with the Gupta family.  Neither were the allegations that the Gupta family did not like the then Eskom CEO Brian Dames.

He is expected back at the commission next week.

By The African Mirror