WHEN Malusi Gigaba was appointed Minister of Home affair, no one thought that his saucy affairs at his own home would dominate news headlines – and continue to spark interest.
Cracks in the Gigabas’ domestic bliss came to light less than a month ago when heated exchanges between the Mrs and a certain sassy New York-based fashion curator appeared on social media (Minister’s steamy ‘home affairs’, 22 October).
Since then Noma Gigaba and Buhle Mkhize have been going at each other.
But many questions remain – not least what really happened between the Minister and his rumoured bit on the side. Now, new information has surfaced that promises to fill in some of the gaps.
In one of the many online exchanges, Noma accused Buhle of Pursuing her man since last year.
This is confirmed by a source close to Buhle who tells us she “met” Malusi on Instagram at the beginning of July 2014. Apparently a simple “follow” and a few comments turned into an exchange of private messages and an alleged relationship a few weeks later.
It also turns out that the Gigabas’ marriage wasn’t the only hanging in the balance. DRUM has learnt that Buhle too was married at the time the reported affair began, to a prominent New York businessman. And the Minister was none wiser.
“According to my knowledge, she was living with someone, but she left out the part that this live-in-partner was in fact her husband,” the source tells us.
“He assumed it was a boyfriend and she didn’t correct him”
A MARRIAGE IN TATTERS
It seems Buhle wasn’t the only one withholding important information about her relationship status: at the time Malusi was in the middle of preparations for his wedding to Noma, which took place at the end of August 2014.
“The first time she heard he was getting married was on his wedding day,’ one of Buhle’s close friends tells us.
But despite the obvious hurdles, the illicit couple found a way to keep their love on the go. “He called a minimum of once a day without fail, and multiple times a day when time allowed,” the friend reveals. “txts were countless on a daily basis.”
“Within days all hell broke loose at her end,” the source says. “It was ugly, and she was devasted. She didn’t deny what had happened.”
By February, Buhle’s husband had apparently filed for a legal separation. According to her friend, the abandoned fashion fundi found comfort in Malusi’s arms.
DRUM speaks to another source who re-calls the time when Noma first discovered the existence of her rival.
“On the day of departing for their honeymoon, Gigaba posted a picture of Noma sharing his excitement about their trip to Dubai,” the insider alleges. “Buhle saw it and went ballistic. She told him to not post anything about her husband to spare his feelings.”
It seems he obliged, and their virtual relationship continued until Noma found out on return from their honeymoon.
“Buhle was told to stop throwing herself at Gigaba,” another source inform us.
“Apparently Malusi had denied everything, claiming that Buhle started sending him flirtatious messages but he never responded to them.”
Buhle was supposedly then blocked on both Mr and Mrs Gifabas’ Instagram accounts. He, however, later unblocked her and continued with texts and calls in an attempt to save their relationship.
TRIPS AND EXPENSIVE GIFTS
The source also says that the Minister wanted to sort things out with Buhle in person. Within two weeks, travel arrangements were allegedly made for Buhle to come to SA for their first meeting. “A night in Cape Town turned into four days,” the source continues. “What was supposed to be a week in South Africa turned into two weeks.”
We are also told that towards the end of November, while still in Cape Town, they agreed that Buhle would return to celebrate her birthday. However, Malusi’s father died and they were forced to change their plans.
“She was told that she could have anything she wanted for her birthday,” the source alleges. So she chose to go the Dominican Republic with her friends.”
Apparently, a bag with $20 000 (about R260 000) was delivered to Buhle’s New York apartment to finance the birthday trip. “I was there when a messenger came and dropped off a bag full of cash in US hundred dollar bills,” the source says.
We are also told that it was around this time that Noma found out that the affair had continued and that pair had actually met.
DEAL OR NO DEAL?
Fast forward to June 2015, and Buhle got a call from Noma, according to our source. Noma discovered that Malusi had bought more trips for Buhle to SA after he’d returned from his four-day trip with her.
But after a two-hour telephone conversation, the women reached an agreement and Buhle agreed to stay away from Noma’s husband.
Buhle had reasons of her own for backing off, however. “She and her husband had also decided to work things out.”
So why, we wonder, did she decide to make her spat with Noma public after they had supposedly reached an agreement?
“She thought the saga was behind her marriage as well, but she then started hearing endless rumours about Noma going around saying she works as a prostitute and dragging her name in the mud,”our source explains.
Naturally we contacted the Gigabas are particulary firm in their response, stating that there will be no further comment on this matter.
So we will just have to wait and see if Buhle keeps her end of the deal, and whether Malusi and Noma can work through the problems in their messy not-so-private life.