Gordhan's 33 questions from the EFF on SARS, 'spy tapes' and retiring to Canada

2018-11-09 20:55
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

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In a move reminiscent of the time the Hawks sent questions to former finance minister Pravin Gordhan shortly before a budget address, a long list of questions has reached his desk - this time before his scheduled appearance before the Zondo commission into state capture.

And it was not from the authorities, but from the Economic Freedom Fighters, which is upping the ante on Gordhan. 

The EFF held a press conference where it's commander-in-chief Julius Malema said there was a plot against them, led by Gordhan and Treasury officials. This follows reports on the party's links to looting at VBS Mutual Bank, through Brian Shivambu - the younger brother of the party's deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

After Gordhan's statement to the Zondo commission was leaked earlier this week, wherein he mentioned meeting Ajay Gupta through former president Jacob Zuma, the EFF laid a charge against him with the Public Protector, as he had previously stated in an answer to a parliamentary question that he had not met the Guptas.

On Wednesday, Shivambu sent a letter containing 33 questions to Gordhan.

READ: EFF reports Gordhan to Public Protector after his statement to State Capture Commission leaks

Many of the questions relate to the so-called "rogue unit" at the South African Revenue Service and why Malema was charged with tax evasion in 2012. The party also wants to know about Gordhan's relationship with Canada.

Shivambu's letter ended with the following: "We ask the minister to answer honourably and honestly. We also request the minister to expeditiously attend to the matter, given its urgency and sensitivity."

Adrian Lackay, Gordhan's spokesperson, confirmed receipt of the letter.

"The minister is seeking legal advice on the best way to deal with it," Lackay said.

In February 2016, the Hawks, then led by Berning Ntlemeza, who has since been relieved of his duties, sent Gordhan 27 questions days before he was to deliver that year's budget speech.

At the time, many considered this to be part of an attempt to intimidate Gordhan into resigning as finance minister by those loyal to Zuma.

The "rogue unit" narrative has been discredited by the Nugent Commission into SARS and the Sunday Times, which ran several stories on the "rogue unit", eventually apologising for their reporting. 

The Hawks' prosecution of Gordhan came to nought. 

Here is Shivambu's full letter to Gordhan:

EFF letter to Grodhan
EFF letter to Gordhan
EFF letter to Gordhan

  

Read more on:    eff  |  pravin gordhan

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