By Pinky Khoabane
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has refused to grant the Oppenheimers the right to operate an airport with an international entry point, within another airport, at the OR Tambo International Airport.
The Oppenheimers are currently operating a 7-star operation through Fireblade – land leased through Denel, which in itself is a National Key Point. Denel has objected to Fireblade’s application to have an international entry point on the basis of “security concerns”. UnCensored broke this story last year and questions to Denel and Fireblade on how South Africa’s richest man got the deal have not been answered. Was it a tender, open or closed, and who participated are questions both institutions have not answered.
The port, if granted, would allow passengers from around the world, who didn’t want to go through the OR Tambo International Airport and its laborious checks to go straight through to Fireblade and into the country. What this means in effect, is that the Oppenheimers could take the role of a sovereign state and decide who comes in-and-out of the country but more importantly, the port does not comply to security measures required of a National Key Point. Drug & diamond dealers, human traffickers, and all forms of espionage could take place at this port.
According to Gigaba’s affidavit, Fireblade’s court challenge was tantamount to requesting the minister to use “public power to privilege and benefit a private citizen to the exclusion of all others”.