You are putting Gordhan in a dangerous position, Mantashe tells media

2016-05-31 17:02
Gwede Mantashe

Gwede Mantashe (News24)

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Johannesburg - Media reports portraying Pravin Gordhan as an institution on his own, instead of a minister under President Jacob Zuma, are putting the finance minister in a dangerous position, the ANC said on Tuesday.

"Taking him out of the Cabinet collective and putting him somewhere as an institution, it's dangerous," ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

He was briefing media on the party's national executive committee meeting held over the weekend.

"Ring-fencing" Gordhan and making him appear as though he was not part of the Cabinet, which answered to the president, was making him weaker.

Gordhan has been the subject of several reports which alleged that he was being investigated for his involvement in the so-called "rogue unit" at the SA Revenue Service during his tenure as its commissioner between 1999 and 2009.

Three weeks ago, the Sunday Times reported that the Hawks wanted Gordhan and eight others charged for alleged illicit intelligence gathering and spying on taxpayers during his time there. The unit was allegedly responsible for this.

The Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority were reportedly waiting for "political go-ahead" before arresting him, the paper reported.

Both the Hawks and the Presidency denied the allegations.

In a statement, Gordhan said the reports were "extremely distressing". He called them an attack on the Treasury and asked for the institution to be protected.

The Presidency denied reports claiming Zuma was "at war" with Gordhan over control of the Treasury. 

On Tuesday, Mantashe asked reporters to stop such reporting.

"You are actually harming him because you make him to be targeted as an institution called Pravin Gordhan, and there is no such institution.

"There is a minister of finance in the Cabinet of President Jacob Zuma, that's it. And we must deal with the matters within the ministry of finance. Let's deal with them as such," he said.

Read more on:    anc  |  pravin gordhan  |  gwede mantashe  |  politics 2016

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