SA minister Malusi Gigaba says blackmailed after sex tape leaked

Malusi and Norma Gigaba

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Sunday a private sex video was leaked after his phone was hacked and he had faced blackmail threats over it when he headed the Finance Ministry.

Gigaba was thrust into the finance post in March last year after former President Jacob Zuma sacked Pravin Gordhan, a move that unnerved investors and roiled markets at the time.

“My wife and I have learned, with regret and sadness, that a video containing material of a sexual nature, meant for our eyes only, which was stolen when my communication got illegally intercepted/my phone got hacked, in 2016/17, is circulating among certain political figures,” Gigaba said on Twitter.

“This video has been at the center of a number of blackmail and extortion attempts, dating back to the period immediately following my appointment as Minister of Finance, on 31 March 2017, all of which I have steadfastly refused to entertain,” he said on his official Twitter account.

Vuyo Mkhize, a public relations consultant working for Gigaba, confirmed the authenticity of the tweets.

Gigaba did not disclose the nature of the blackmail demands but he said law enforcement and intelligence agencies were investigating the matter.

Police officials at the national commissioner’s office and the elite Hawks investigative unit could not immediately be reached for comment.

“I take this opportunity to publicly apologise, in advance, to the rest of my family – especially my kids, my mom and my in-laws – and the South African public for the pain and embarrassment the likely wider distribution of this private material will cause,” Gigaba said.

He added that he hoped South Africans would “constructively engage with the question of whether it is correct to condone and promote the gross invasion of the privacy of others by distributing such material, more especially in the clear absence of a public interest justification.”

Gigaba has been married to Nomachule Mngoma since 2014 after divorcing his first wife, Thabong.