Round-Up: Pravin Gordhan probe 'a defining moment for South Africa'

2016-08-25 15:30

Representatives from Corruption Watch and Section 27 have described the events surrounding the Hawks case against Pravin Gordhan and his former Sars colleagues as a 'defining moment' in the fight against corruption in South Africa.

See more on Pravin Gordhan here.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan

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Last Updated at 12:29
25 Aug 15:11

25 Aug 15:09

Guptas warn Treasury days before Gordhan ambush 

Meanwhile, four days before the Guptas' business chiefs ambushed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on a radio station, their company Tegeta threatened Treasury over a report into coal contracts with Eskom. 

25 Aug 14:34

WATCH: "This is a defining moment for South Africa" – Section 27 

25 Aug 14:28

Pillay, Van Loggerenberg to follow due process – lawyer 

The lawyer representing former Sars employees Ivan Pillay and Johann Van Loggerenberg says his clients will follow due process in the case with the Hawks. 

"Our clients wish to thank civil society for their support. Our clients consider the allegations to be baseless and our clients will be following due process in accordance with their rights. That is all we are going to answer now," lawyer Robert Levin told reporters after meeting with Hawks investigators. 

More to follow...

25 Aug 14:08

Wessels: Business has a better option than Zuma or Gordhan – Freedom 

Business leaders and economists would do well to realise the choice in South Africa is not a narrow one between Zuma and Gordhan, says an analyst. 

The plummeting rand after yet another manoeuvre by the Hawks to undermine Pravin Gordhan coupled with the president positioning himself to protect State-owned Enterprises against any possible action by Treasury that may impact on the practices of patronage surrounding these entities, further shook already brittle investor confidence. 

25 Aug 14:00

25 Aug 13:52

25 Aug 13:43

WATCH: Pravin Gordhan's hope 

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said he chooses to remain hopeful in the face of economic and other challenges faced in South Africa. 

"I'm a boom man, not a bust man. I'm an optimist, not a pessimist," Gordhan said during a debate with Justice Malala in Cape Town on Wednesday. 

25 Aug 13:22

DA calls for a debate on Gordhan 'witch-hunt'  

SA opposition party Democratic Alliance (DA) called on Thursday for a parliamentary debate into what it called a "witch-hunt" against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is under police investigation over a suspected spy unit at the South African Revenue Service (Sars). 

Gordhan said on Wednesday he had no legal obligation to obey a police summons linked to an investigation into whether he used Sars to spy on politicians, including President Jacob Zuma. 

25 Aug 12:59

25 Aug 11:55

Zuma tempting tax revolt – has his ANC learnt nothing from etolls? 

By Alec Hogg 

This is how it was supposed to happen: After the usual ANC triumph in the elections – helped by its R1bn campaign spend – President Jacob Zuma would use the mandate to take a firmer grip on power.  

First order of business was replacing Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and deputy Mcebisi Jonas, opening the way for Zuma pals to take charge at Gordhan’s Treasury; and enjoy unrestricted access to trillions in the PIC, which as deputy finmin, Jonas chairs.  

25 Aug 11:38

BREAKING: I can't stop Gordhan probe – Zuma 

President Jacob Zuma has "full confidence" in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, the Presidency said in a statement on Thursday. 

But he does not have the power to stop any investigations into any individuals, he added. 

25 Aug 11:30

The four people who could possibly replace Gordhan 

It’s going to be hard to replace Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan should President Jacob Zuma move to press the reshuffle button. 

Whoever replaces him and no matter how talented, that person would be tainted with the brush of political interference and being a lackey of those determined to get their hands on Treasury and the proverbial cookie jar, political economist Daniel Silke told Fin24. 

"It’s a perception that even the most sophisticated amount of political spin and PR won’t change," he said. 

25 Aug 11:27

SA bonds near weakest on Gordhan concerns

South African bonds held near the weakest level since December and the rand was close to the lowest level in a month against the dollar as investors fear Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan may be removed from his post after he refused to meet with police. 

The rand was at R14.1237 per dollar at 08:56 in Johannesburg. It has depreciated 3.9% over the past two days and is the worst-performing emerging-market currency over the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

25 Aug 11:08

25 Aug 10:48

25 Aug 10:42

WATCH: Gordhan explains his Hawks move over Sars 

After teasing the audience for politely evading the Sars issue, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan explains why he won't adhere to a request by the Hawks to receive a warning letter. 

25 Aug 10:28

Pillay and Van Loggerenberg arrive at Hawks office 

Former Sars employees Ivan Pillay and Johann Van Loggerenberg were greeted by supporters as they arrived at the Hawks offices in Pretoria on Thursday. 

Civil society groups Right2Know, Section27 and Corruption Watch have all pledged solidarity with them. 

Among the supporters present were Advocate George Bizos, Francis Antonie from the Helen Suzman Foundation and former judge Johann Kriegler from Freedom Under Law. 

25 Aug 10:10

25 Aug 10:04

Hawks allegations against Gordhan baseless - former top judge

Civil society groups have described the charges being faced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and former colleagues by the Hawks as baseless. 

"We believe we speak on behalf of all fair-minded South Africans, irrespective of political persuasion, in showing our support for the minister of finance and his former colleagues at Sars and our outrage at this attack on them," Freedom Under Law Chairperson Judge Johan Kriegler said. 

25 Aug 09:56

Helen Suzman Foundation's Francis Antonie, Freedom Under Law Chairperson Judge Johann Kriegler and Advocate George Bizos address the media. 

(Karabo Ngoepe/News24) 

25 Aug 09:50

Ivan Pillay and Johann van Loggerenberg arrive at the Hawks offices. 

(Karabo Ngoepe/News24) 

25 Aug 09:39

WATCH: Zuma needs to come clean on Gordhan – Mashaba 

The new mayor of Johannesburg wants President Jacob Zuma to explain why the Hawks are focusing on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. 

"The president, the government, owe it to the people of South Africa to take us into their confidence, to tell us what is really happening here. Something is not right. They are not doing our country a favour," Herman Mashaba told News24 on Wednesday. 

25 Aug 09:22

25 Aug 09:13

WATCH: Under fire Gordhan reveals SAA deadlock will soon end

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said a "good announcement" regarding South African Airways (SAA) can be expected "shortly" on Wednesday evening.

The minister, who heads up the state-owned company (SOC), is withholding a R5bn guarantee as a carrot for the ailing national carrier to reform.

Because SAA is refusing to budge, they are preventing themselves from filing their year-long overdue annual financial statements, as it requires this guarantee.

25 Aug 09:01

EFF calls on Gordhan to keep Hawks appointment

The EFF on Wednesday called on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to reconsider his decision to not present himself to the Hawks, even though the party believes he is innocent.

"The last thing we need is anyone being treated as if they are above the law. At all times, we ought to respect institutions of the state and uphold them above individuals who may be at their helm," spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said in a statement.

25 Aug 08:55

Gordhan's Hawks response halts rand plunge

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's response to the Hawks directive helped the rand ease off its decline, but if he is arrested or fired analysts says the rand is heading for trouble.

Gordhan said on Wednesday he would not adhere to a Hawks request to present himself for a warning letter over corruption charges they have come up with, because they are "wholly unfounded on any version of the facts".

"I have a job to do in a difficult economic environment and serve South Africa as best I can," he said. "Let me do my job."

25 Aug 08:52

Adv George Bizos arrives at the Hawks offices.

(Lerato Sejake/News24)

25 Aug 08:38

25 Aug 08:35

25 Aug 08:34

Gordhan saga a proxy for tough choices - Silke

It’s just got the feel of Groundhog Day. Reports of the possible arrest of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan this week are nothing new. Conjecture about political interference in Treasury has been part of our political discourse for almost a year. A possible replacement of a credible Finance Minister is once again a possibility. It’s all distressingly and depressingly familiar, writes political economist Daniel Silke.

25 Aug 08:31

25 Aug 08:27

25 Aug 08:25

Firing Gordhan would 'destroy economy' - Manuel

South Africa's economy, the most developed on the continent, will be destroyed if President Jacob Zuma fires Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, ex-finance minister Trevor Manuel says.

25 Aug 08:11

25 Aug 08:00

25 Aug 07:52

Gordhan plot all about power, SOEs and tenderpreneurs - economist

The market reaction will be profound should President Jacob Zuma decide to push the reshuffle button, which could see Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan exit the National Treasury.

This is according to Nomura emerging markets economist Peter Attard Montalto on the latest attack on Gordhan by the Hawks.

25 Aug 07:44

25 Aug 07:42

Gordhan speaks out on patronage, corruption

On Wednesday night, hours after revealing the charges the Hawks were seeking to bring against him, Gordhan said politics, power and rent seeking go together and South Africa needs to reform the system of patronage.

25 Aug 07:39

Gordhan battle: SA staring down edge of economic abyss

Attacks on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan by the Hawks threaten to devastate the economy, Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) said in an open letter to President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday.

It said South Africa made great progress over the last eight months to stave off a ratings downgrade to junk status but that the country stands once more on the edge of an abyss.

"We urge you to act to preserve the unity and progress we have achieved since December by ensuring an end to the harassment, intimidation, and undermining of the leadership of our most important economic governance institutions," BLSA said.

25 Aug 07:37

Hawks accuse Gordhan of corruption

The police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) accuses Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan of acting corruptly by granting early retirement to the former deputy head of Sars, Ivan Pillay.

In a letter sent by the Hawks to Gordhan on Monday, Major-General MS Ledwaba states that Gordhan’s alleged actions “amount to” unauthorised expenditure and/or fruitless and wasteful expenditure in terms of the Public Finance Management Act and corruption in terms of the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act.

25 Aug 07:32

On Wednesday, Gordhan said he will not meet the Hawks who summoned him to appear at their office to obtain a warning statement.

25 Aug 07:30

Here are 12 quotes made in statements in 2016 by Gordhan post his re-appointment as finance minister following the Nhlanhla Nene axing fiasco in December last year relate to the matter.

25 Aug 07:30

Gordhan sought legal advice after he was contacted by the Hawks, a Treasury spokesperson confirmed.

25 Aug 07:30

Sars probes Gordhan-era tenders

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is not only facing possible arrest by the Hawks – the SA Revenue Service (Sars) has also launched a massive new forensic probe into deals concluded during his tenure at the organisation.

News24 revealed on Tuesday that Sars appointed accounting firm Grant Thornton to conduct a forensic investigation into its modernisation and technology programme, which was implemented between 2007 and 2014. Gordhan was Sars commissioner from 1999 until 2009.

25 Aug 07:30

Where it started:

On Tuesday it was reported that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has been ordered to report to the Hawks by Thursday over allegations relating to a rogue tax unit.

The rand fell nearly 3% after the story was published. 

The elite Hawks police division is investigating a tax surveillance unit within the South African Revenue Service (Sars) set up in 2007 when Gordhan was the commissioner of the revenue authority.

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