ANC caucus backs Gordhan 'like any other minister’

2016-05-20 10:35
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File, City Press)

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. (File, City Press)

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Cape Town - The ANC’s parliamentary caucus has put its faith in Pravin Gordhan following a rumoured impending arrest by the Hawks, a report has said.

ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu on Thursday said the party in Parliament backed Gordhan as it did all Cabinet ministers.

Mthembu was quoted as saying the party respects and trusts all ministers “without exception, including Pravin Gordhan”, the Political Bureau reported on Friday.

The ANC chief whip also praised Gordhan for the work he had done in reassuring investors of South Africa’s financial future amid political instability.

The SACP on Wednesday claimed the Gordhan arrest reports are motivated by an agenda within the Hawks, News24 reported.

“The conduct of the Hawks under Ntlemeza’s stewardship is increasingly leaving much to be desired, and indeed reflects politically motivated, factional and private agendas,” spokesperson Alex Mashilo said.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi though rubbished the SACP’s claim. He said the unit’s only mandate was to combat, prevent, and investigate all serious organised crime, commercial crime, and corruption.

'We won't be blackmailed into removing Zuma'

Mthembu meanwhile also said the ANC would not be blackmailed into removing President Jacob Zuma from office, News24 reported on Thursday.

The EFF has vowed not to let Zuma speak in Parliament until action is taken against him, a move which Mthembu has termed "political blackmail".

"We can’t be blackmailed by people to say that if the president doesn’t go, then there will be chaos. There is nothing in the Constitutional Court ruling that says the head of state must not speak in Parliament," he said.

He said if the party gave in to blackmail, they would be forced to do it over and over.

"Even if you have this president going because we have been blackmailed into chaos, you will have another one going because you will continue to be blackmailed. Where will it stop? Where will the political blackmail stop?"

'We don't want blood in this house'

Mthembu also said the party does not want to see anyone dying in Parliament, or blood to be spilled, News24 reported on Thursday.

Mthembu said Malema's bodyguards were seen on video protecting him and fighting protection officers after a scuffle broke out between EFF MPs and Parliamentary Protection Services.

"Our sources are quite convinced that they were his bodyguards. The type of thuggery witnessed this week is unprecedented in the history of this institution," he said at a press conference in Parliament.

He said the time had come for not only Parliament but society to draw the line, and shun and isolate “these characters”. 

Read more on:    anc  |  eff  |  hawks  |  pravin gor­dhan  |  jackson mthembu  |  julius malema  |  cape town  |  parliament 2016

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