Malusi Gigaba faces grilling from MPs

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Deputy Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba is expected to face hostile questions in Parliament today over allegations that he bought flowers for re-latives using taxpayers' money and ran a private organisation from his office.

The tough home affairs watchdog committee chairman, Patrick Chauke, has called on Gigaba to give his side of the story.

The expected grilling of the deputy minister by MPs follows a report in Die Burger earlier this year. A preliminary investigation found that government policy allowed officials to buy flowers for colleagues and counterparts, but not for a wife.

Gigaba has said he would reimburse the department for the cost of the flowers sent to his wife. Die Burger also claimed that Gigaba had been using taxpayers' money to pay for flights and car hire for people not employed by his office.

Gigaba, however, claimed the expenses were incurred for consultants, which was consistent with government practice. He has now ordered an audit of all his expenses.

Public Protector Lawrence Mushwana recently started his own investigation into the allegations but suspended it once he learnt that Parliament's oversight committee would investigate the claims.

Mike Lowe, the DA's home affairs spokesman, has accused Mushwana of trying to minimise damage to the ANC.

Lowe said ANC members dominated the home affairs committee and had a history of protecting fellow members of their party.