11/05/2017 10:34 SAST | Updated 11/05/2017 11:00 SAST

Malusi Gigaba Needs To Take Responsibility For His Affair So Norma Doesn't Have To

He's the one who cheated after all.

Malusi Gigaba and his wife arrive for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address on February 11, 2016 at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa.
Lerato Maduna / Foto24 / Gallo Images via Getty Images
Malusi Gigaba and his wife arrive for President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address on February 11, 2016 at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa.

Being cheated on hurts. When a partner cheats you not only have to deal with the fractured personal relationship, you also have to deal with the third parties. Either the person your partner cheated with, or the friends and/or family who knew about said adultery.

It's humiliating no matter how you decide to move forward. You have to contend with those who feel sorry for you if you forgive your spouse and those who judge you for it. There will also be those looking at you with pitiful eyes, wondering how you'll pick up the pieces. Then are the ones who will look on bemused, gleeful and vindicated by this because what you had "was too good to be true" anyway.

More than anything though, you hope and pray that your partner has the ability and courage to take responsibility for their actions and be as bold about taking the blame as they were when they betrayed you.

In the case of Norma Gigaba versus Buhle Mkhize, there is a glaring predicament we must discuss. Two years after the so-called media storm surrounding the affair, Norma was answering for her husband's antics in an interview that was about "money, love and betrayal", according to the eNCA summary.

I do not know what the premise of the interview was when Norma was called and frankly I do not care, what I do wonder about is if Gigaba himself would ever be called upon for an interview of the same nature. After the Twitter storm on Tuesday, where a woman claiming to be Buhle created a presentation to respond to what she called an attack on her character, Malusi Gigaba's spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete, said the minister would be focusing on his work and not responding to these issues. Isn't it lovely? To have the luxury of focusing on your work because you can, not letting a silly affair interfere with your life or status at all?

Even at the time of this affair being exposed, it was Norma who was getting calls, being exposed in public and having to defend her honour and marriage. As far as I am aware, Gigaba posted a single Instagram note in which he apologised for "befriending" Buhle. Since then, I do not recall a tell-all interview with him, no one asking him "what went wrong" or "how he was coping". It seems that while Gigaba has been able to bury his head in his work as a civil servant doing his public duty for the country, his wife has been called upon now to share a point in her life that she possibly didn't want raised again.

Let's be clear, Buhle supposedly coming forward on Tuesday night was perfect timing. People were talking about the interview because it wasn't clear what the actual intention there was, it was a poor and dull interview with no real value. But then the Twitter action unfolded and suddenly it was a golden talking point. Women fighting over a man is the cheapest entertainment known to our generation and we would be remiss to say it doesn't make for a fun spectacle. VH1 has made a killing off the world sitting through episode after episode of women throwing things at each other for ain't shit men who get to waltz through life as if their messy behaviour doesn't have consequences. In fact, he is often excused for it. That's because even if a man is the cause of all the drama, it is the women who are left dealing with the aftermath.

It's the conundrum of infidelity when you're a woman in a heterosexual relationship; whether you stay or leave, you're the one constantly bombarded with the questions. Gigaba says he wants his family to be left alone and that his wife has been humiliated enough. If he really believes this and if he really wants her to be relieved of the responsibility of answering for his actions, then perhaps the only way that will happen is if he steps up and answers for it himself.

Her spouse, the partner who so boldly went out and pursued another woman, needs to be as bold in taking responsibility for his behaviour as he was when he betrayed her.