Courts may reveal roots of Gordhan/Hawks battle - analyst

2016-10-11 18:16
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File)

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Johannesburg – The courts might be the final place to find out what is really at the heart of the battle between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and the Hawks, political analyst Dumisani Hlophe said on Tuesday.

A court would allow for the facts of the matter to be aired, free of the opinions from those for or against Gordhan or President Jacob Zuma.  

"At the end of the day, you have the anti-Zuma faction and the pro-Zuma faction, but the facts lie in between," he told News24.

"Those who support the president say Zuma has been taken to court a number of times, why not anyone else? While those who are anti the president are worried about the impact of this on the economy," he said.

NPA head Shaun Abrahams announced on Tuesday that Gordhan, former deputy Sars commissioner Ivan Pillay and former Sars commissioner Oupa Magashula, would be summonsed to appear in court on a charge of fraud relating to a payout made to Pillay when he took early retirement, and the extension of his contract.

Abrahams said Gordhan would face two counts‚ one of fraud and one involving the unlawful extension of Pillay’s contract. They were expected in court on November 2.

Gordhan was Sars commissioner between 1999 and 2009.

Hlophe said the public fights between Gordhan and the Hawks showed that Cabinet was not united and should have been resolved sooner.

Disaster

University of Witwatersrand lecturer Susan Booysen described Tuesday's announcement by the NPA as a disaster.

It came days after the Constitutional Court’s ruling against the NPA and seemed like much "political tit-for-tat" was going around, she said.

In an order dated September 29, the Constitutional Court said it would not yet be in the interests of justice to hear the NPA's request for leave to appeal against the High Court in Pretoria’s ruling ordering the reinstatement of corruption charges against Zuma.

She believed Gordhan was being hung out to dry for approving an early retirement package, something many in the public service sector did.

"They are making an example of him. This is stopping someone seen as being against the president in their tracks, over something that is actually the culture in public service."

Booysen said Gordhan was part of a bigger story.

"The ropes are tightening around the president and this is part of an escape being manufactured for Zuma," she said.

She felt there was a general sense of disdain for the economy.

Booysen said the perception that Zuma was behind Gordhan’s problems would have a devastating impact on the ruling party and showed the party had no control over its president.

"He’s an indictment on the ANC, the lead balloon pulling the party down."

Read more on:    npa  |  sars  |  hawks  |  oupa magashula  |  pravin ­gordhan  |  shaun abrahams  |  corruption

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