South Africa's home affairs minister Gigaba resigns

FILE PHOTO: Former finance Minister Malusi Gigaba delivers his budget address at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings/File Photo

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has resigned, the president’s office said on Tuesday, following calls from opposition parties for him to stand down over a High Court ruling which said he had lied under oath.

Gigaba, who was finance minister between March 2017 and February 2018, has denied any wrongdoing. Gigaba, who in February was reappointed home affairs minister, apologized last month over a private sex video that was leaked on social media after his phone was hacked when he was finance minister.

“The president has accepted the minister’s resignation,” Cyril Ramaphosa’s’s office said in a statement.

Gigaba was thrust into the role of finance minister after South Africa’s then-president Jacob Zuma sacked Pravin Gordhan, a move that unnerved investors and roiled markets at the time.

Pressure on Gigaba mounted when South Africa’s official anti-graft watchdog said last week that he should be disciplined for lying under oath about the wealthy Oppenheimer family’s attempt to open a private airport immigration facility.

A South African court ruled last December that Gigaba had violated the constitution when he denied having ever approved an application by the Oppenheimers to operate an immigration service for wealthy VIPs at Johannesburg’s main airport.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane last Wednesday directed President Ramaphosa to discipline Gigaba and to inform her of the action he had taken within 20 days.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Gareth Jones