Gigaba appealed the ruling and concurrently launched an application in the Constitutional Court. This was dismissed with costs in March‚ with the Constitutional Court finding that the appeals court had to rule on the matter first. That same month‚ appeal court judge Malcolm Wallis dismissed Gigaba’s appeal‚ saying: “The minister cannot rely on his own unlawful attempt to circumvent the decision he had lawfully made to grant Fireblade’s application.”
Now the parliamentary committee is trying to make sense of the matter. Committee chair Hlomani Chauke said on Sunday that Gigaba had informed the committee that he would again approach the Constitutional Court. “We don’t know what is the process and what it is that is being appealed‚” he said. “Those clarities are very important.”
The committee is also looking to determine what effect the arrangement has had on the state’s coffers. An oversight visit to Fireblade’s offices in August found no record of a written agreement between the parties that delineates‚ for example‚ responsibility for the civil servants deployed to the terminal.
Chauke said this meant home affairs had not provided in its budget for staffing the terminal. He said other state departments‚ including health‚ the SA Revenue Service‚ and agriculture‚ forestry & fisheries‚ had also deployed officials to the terminal.
“We want a full understanding and to make sure every cent of the state is accounted for‚” he said. “As a committee representing parliament we feel very strongly that there must be accountability and clear agreements.”