Gigaba’s week of scandals has social media users seeing red

Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba
Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba
Image: Martin Rhodes

Home affairs minister Malusi Gigaba was huge on social media this week.

"He certainly was the biggest story this week with the largest share of voice in the media‚" social media analyst Tonya Khoury of Acumen Media told TimesLIVE.

The company’s analysis of the week's trending topics on social media revealed that stories about Gigaba "peaked over seven days".

It began on Sunday with the leaking of a video showing Gigaba performing a sexual act.

Gigaba extended an apology to his family and the "South African public for the pain and embarrassment the likely wider distribution of this private material will cause".

Gigaba alleges the video was stolen when his "communication was illegally intercepted" and his "phone got hacked in 2016/17".

BusinessLIVE reported on Thursday that the Constitutional Court had dismissed his final attempt to appeal a high court judgment that found he had lied under oath in his legal battle with the Oppenheimer family.

On Tuesday‚ Fireblade Aviation chairperson Nicky Oppenheimer claimed that Gigaba had lied to parliament. This came after the minister denied approving the operation of a terminal for Fireblade at OR Tambo International Airport.

The Constitutional Court decision came just one day after public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found Gigaba had violated the constitution and executive ethics code by lying in court.

Acumen's monitoring system‚ which measures sentiment and emotions that users were feeling on social media by looking at the words and emojis they posted‚ found that anger was the most common emotional response expressed when Twitter and Facebook users spoke about Gigaba's woes.

"Only nine percent of the online conversations about Gigaba were positive‚" said Khoury.