As a result of his involvement in a series of controversies, including some that emanated from his personal life, former South African minister Malusi Gigaba is one of the most controversial people to have held public office. He was once viewed as a potential candidate for the presidency due to his qualifications, both educational and political, as he had served at the helm of different ministries under the administrations of various SA leaders. Gigaba’s first high-profile role was that of Deputy Minister of Home Affairs before becoming Minister of Public Enterprises, Minister of Home Affairs, and then Minister of Finance. He again served as Minister of Home Affairs before he was forced to resign in 2018.
The Zulu Politician Was Born To An Anglican Priest In KwaZulu-Natal
Malusi Gigaba was born to Reverend Jabulani Gigaba and Nomthandazo Gigaba on the 31st of August 1971 in Eshowe Town, KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. He is the second child of his parents; he had a brother, Mqondisi Gigaba, who sadly passed away years ago, and three sisters; Gugu Gigaba, Nozipho Gigaba, and Mpume Gigaba.
Malusi’s father, who passed away at age 76 in the year 2014, was an Anglican Priest while his mother was a nurse. There have been a few allegations in the past that the Gigaba family are from Zimbabwe. This is, however, false as it is recorded that the Gigaba family are Zulu from Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal.
Malusi Gigaba Has a Master’s Degree in Social Policy
Mr. Gigaba is one of the few high-profile politicians in South Africa to have received proper education from primary to tertiary and even postgraduate. The quality of the education he has received has undoubtedly played a pivotal role in his political career.
The former minister began his primary education in 1983 at Manthonsi Primary School, Mandeni South Africa. He then proceeded to Vryheid State High School in 1988 before enrolling at Ethalana High School where he graduated from and then attended the University of Durban. In 1990, Gigaba graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education. He would later go on to bag a Master’s Degree in Social Policy from the same institution in 1991.
Gigaba Got Involved in Politics As A 19-Year-Old in The University
The 51 year-old former minister has a tremendous political portfolio that has spanned three decades. He had always been involved in politics from his days as an undergraduate at the University of Durban. He started off with student groups and was a very active member of student bodies like Congress of South African Students (COSAS), South African Student Congress (SASCO), the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO), and Young Christian Students (YCS) between the periods of the late 80s and 1990. These student bodies and various other youth organizations had an affiliation with the ANC (African National Congress) which was a banned political party.
Malusi Gigaba’s activities as a member of these student organizations paved his way into big-league politics, especially as COSAS and SASCO aligned strongly with the ANC. Subsequently, when the ANC was unbanned in February 1990, the then 19-year-old joined the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the ANC Youth League (ANCYL), an organization that he was elected as its President three times in a row; in 1996, 1998 and 2001. Malusi became the only person to serve as the President of the ANCYL for 8 years.
In 1999, he was also elected into the National Assembly as a member of the Parliament under the ANC. During this time, he became a member of the Trade and Industry Portfolio Committee. In 2001, at age 30, the young promising politician resigned from the National Assembly but he was re-elected again in 2004. Not too long after that, he was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Home affairs on the 29th of April 2004 under the administration of Thabo Mbeki.
After six years as a Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba was appointed as the Minister for Public Enterprise on the 1st of November 2010, this time under the presidency of Jacob Zuma. He served in the position until May 2014, when he became the Minister of Home Affairs. After three years in this new position, he was also appointed on the 31st of March 2017 as the new Minister of Finance under Jacob Zuma. He served in this position until February 2018 when new SA President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed him for a second stint as the minister of Home Affairs, a position he held until his resignation on the 13th of November 2018.
Two days after his resignation, on the 15th of November 2018, Gigaba also resigned as a member of the South African Parliament. He, however, is still a member of the National Executive/Working Committee of the African National Congress.
List of Achievements During His Time As Minister
Malusi Gigaba was a notable political figure in South African politics. Little wonder his appointments across several ministerial parastatals. Here are some of the milestones or reforms he was known for:
- As a Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, he engineered a new and advanced visa system for an easier flow of migration from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
- Following his appointment as a minister of public enterprise, Gigaba took his job seriously and didn’t waste time to make his position felt. He questioned the
high salaries earned by executives of state and federal offices, procured an increase in the south African government’s infrastructure investment programs, and even fired the board members of South African Airways for failing to produce required financial statements at a stipulated time in 2012.
- After emerging as Minister of Home Affairs in 2014, he introduced birth certificates for immigrant children and also pursued an inspection for companies and organizations; ensuring they meet the requirement by law of employing over 60% of South Africans.
The former minister’s career was on a highway to a climax of renowned success until his resignation in 2018 following allegations of corruption and involvement with Conglomerate families under investigation by the South African Government.
Awards and Recognitions Received
With a tremendous political career spanning three decades, it’s only befitting that the minister must have bagged special awards and recognitions. They include:
Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Achievements and contribution to faculty and society – 1997, University Of Durban Westville Faculty of Education.
Nominated Patron of the Celebrating Youth Awakenings Projects – 1997
- Highest Medal Award of Jose’ Antonio Echeverria Medal – 2002, Cuban National University Students Federation, University Of Havana’s Aula Matta.
Patron, Oasis for Hope Hospice, Daveyton, Ekurhuleni.
Patron, Tholulwazi Organisation of Youth