'Nobody was born for a ministerial position', says Gigaba

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba remains perplexed by the calls to have him removed from office.

Opposition parties have been pleading with President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire Gigaba in his expected Cabinet reshuffle.

Speaking to SABC 2’s Leanne Manas during a post budget speech breakfast event, the minister stated that he was not fazed by these calls as he was not entitled to any position.

"None of us should feel that we are entitled to a position; nobody was born for a ministerial position. We all serve at the pleasure of the president. We are appointed by the president and reshuffled by the president," he said.

"The president puts up a team that he or she thinks is best suited to serve the mission which they have, which they got from the ruling party. The new president must be given the time and space to set up his team."

Allegiance to the party

He added that he was not a poster boy for former President Jacob Zuma but that his allegiance was to his party, the African National Congress, and not leaders.

"I deliberately never went to bed in my Zuma t-shirt because I didn’t want him smiling at my wife,” he joked.

"It’s a funny thing. I used to be called a Thabo Mbeki blue eyed boy and I also used to be called a Mandela boy. I am loyal to the president of the ANC as the head and the face of the party because my loyalty and allegiance is to the African national congress and the people of South Africa," he added.

State capture

The finance minister has been accused of being one of the orchestrators of state capture by the controversial Gupta family. He has been accused of giving the family power over state owned enterprises by appointing people with close relations to the Guptas into boards.

Replying to a question on his involvement, Gigaba said that he was not fingered in the Public Protector's ‘State of Capture’ report.

"The report of the Public Protector made no mention of me. The inquiry in Parliament on Eskom didn’t call me to come and testify," he said.

"The former chairperson of the board of Eskom also came to the inquiry and made no mention of me. So, what are we talking about?"

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivered his annual budget speech in Parliament on February 21 2018. Here are the highlights.