Allegations against myself and Jonas are sickening – Gordhan

2017-03-31 16:52
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. (Pic: Matthew le Cordeur, Fin24)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. (Pic: Matthew le Cordeur, Fin24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – Outgoing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas have slammed allegations contained in a dubious intelligence report which said they had a secret meeting during a roadshow abroad, in an attempt to undermine the country and its economy.

Gordhan also warned South Africans to "connect the dots" when it came to certain events and happenings, in order to see the bigger picture.

He and Jonas addressed the media on Friday in the National Treasury building, just hours before they were set to be removed as ministers.

New ministers, appointed during President Jacob Zuma’s sudden Cabinet reshuffle late on Thursday night, are set to be sworn in on Friday evening at 18:00.

'Upsetting' claims

Earlier on Friday during the press conference, Gordhan said the allegations about him and Jonas contained in the alleged intelligence report were upsetting.

He said both he and Jonas had joined the liberation struggle as youths, to help bring South Africa to where it was today.

"What sickens me is the allegation that I had secret meetings to undermine this country… let me say categorically, there was no such meeting. Why would we do that?" an angry Gordhan asked.

He urged South Africans to see a pattern of events, and not to view each incident in isolation.

'Not for sale'

"Connect the dots, don’t just look at individual dots. Even if the State of Capture report is one third truth, that is concerning to us," he said.

He said both his and Jonas’ souls were "not for sale" and that their integrity was being undermined.

"Our integrity needs to be undermined and discredited to satisfy another objective," Gordhan said.

He went on to explain how he and the Director General Lungisa Fuzile had left for London on Sunday night to meet with rating agencies Standard and Poor, Moody’s and Fitch.

The trip was in order to secure about R5 trillion worth of investments for the country.

Ordered to return

Shortly after their arrival on Monday, Gordhan received an SMS from the Presidency, telling him to return.

Upon their arrival back in South Africa, Gordhan and Fuzile went to ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House, to give secretary general Gwede Mantashe a report back on what they had done in London.

"We had a 20 minute conversation, reported to him about our trip and what we intended to do. And to reassure him that Mr Jonas is in SA, much to his surprise.

"Nothing that happened there had anything in relation to what happened last [Friday] night," Gordhan said.

Jonas said: "All South Africans must wake up and smell the coffee."

He said there were big lessons South Africans needed to learn.

Protection of interests

"There are certain patterns [in the past couple of years] that we’ve seen, events that point to particular interests being protected, consolidated and deepened."

Jonas described matters dealt with in the Public Protector’s State of Capture report as the "the pinnacle" of that.

"It probably consolidates a picture of a state or institutions increasingly becoming vulnerable, increasingly being centres for attack and looting."

He said one didn't have to be a genius to see the trend in the country and the urgency that was needed to deal with it.

"What you have in front of you is history unfolding. At the centre of history unfolding is democracy as a sense being undermined [and] the use of state resources to serve particular interests," Jonas said.

He said the political situation in South Africa needed to be dealt with.

"What is the political moment of a country?

"By the time the disaster hits the country, we will be accused of having lived with our eyes wide shut, when actually political decay is happening. We have a challenge - it’s a national challenge - it’s not about Pravin Gordhan, not about Jonas, this is clearly something as a country we need to be worried about."

Hard work of Treasury

Gordhan maintained that the hard work done by Treasury officials should not be undone.

"Any undoing of confidence or decline of rating status of country will hurt ordinary South Africans. South Africans must not pay for nonsense that happens elsewhere," he said.

He said there was some positive news, as the rand was still positive in the emerging markets.

The political competition taking place within the ANC was like in any party, the only difference was that the ruling party needed to tell its story in a convincing way in order to make a strong case for remaining within investment grade, Gordhan said.

"Unless we shoot ourselves in the foot," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  pravin gordhan  |  mcebisi jonas  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
There's an app for that: how apps have changed us

"There's an app for that" is more than just Apple's marketing mantra. Mobile apps have emerged over the last 10 years or so for practically every need in a person's day and changed our lives.

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.