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Gigaba and wife fight over child

By Anna Majavu, Elvis Nyelezi, Francis Hweshe and Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi | Jul 14, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

DEPUTY Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba is involved in a bitter bust-up with his wife Thabong Gigaba and over the alleged kidnapping of their daughter.

On Monday night Gigaba ordered the police to arrest his wife's cousin for allegedly kidnapping their 10-year-old child.

That's the word from a well-placed source who saw the detention drama unfolding at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday.

Thabong's cousin, Lwazi Ngidi, was detained by police at the airport.

Three years ago, Gigaba was asked to repay the government R1000 he spent on flowers he sent to Thabong. But the couple's flower-filled days seem to be over.

Thabong is said to be ready to visit a top Johannesburg divorce lawyer after she returns back from a trip to Cuba this Friday.

According to a Sowetan source, Thabong left the couple's daughter in the care of Ngidi when she left the country last week.

The source says that although the couple were not officially separated, Thabong had been the sole caregiver for the couple's daughter in Cape Town. Gigaba spent his time in Johannesburg.

Thabong gave Ngidi permission to take her daughter on a holiday to East London. But Gigaba was apparently angry when he found out. He reportedly laid a charge of kidnapping against Ngidi.

The source told Sowetan that the couple had been estranged for some time. "Gigaba left his wife and daughter in Cape Town without even buying groceries for them," said the source.

"Although Thabong and his daughter arrived in Johannesburg from Cape Town on July 2, Malusi did not even ask them to spend the weekend. That's why Thabong asked Ngidi to take care of their daughter while she was away in Cuba."

Sowetan understands that Ngidi and the Gigaba daughter's flight landed yesterday at 1.30pm. But by 5pm they were still being detained by the police.

The source heard the daughter making tearful calls to her mother in Cuba.

Ngidi and the child were eventually released late last night.

Sowetan met with Ngidi at the airport last night shortly after she was released by the police.

"I am surprised and disappointed by what Malusi did. He knows me very well and he knew that their child was with me," Ngidi said.

She said when she arrived at the airport with the child they were detained and told that Gigaba had opened a case of kidnapping and abduction against her.

"I am happy that I have been released though I still have to appear in court," she said.

Ngidi was released on a warning pending investigations.

Gigaba's spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa declined to comment, saying this was a police matter.



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