Dr Iqbal Survé, chair of Independent Media and head of investment firm Sekunjalo, says he has "sufficient evidence" to show Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan was involved in the raid conducted on his Cape Town offices on Wednesday morning, but that this evidence will be presented at the "appropriate time".
The offices of Sekunjalo, the investment holding company that Survé heads, were raided by market regulator the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) on Wednesday.
At the time, Survé blamed "dark forces" for the raid, alleging it was an attempt "to get information we have on … Gordhan and the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) and which my reporters are about to publish this weekend".
Gordhan's legal team has previously slammed Survé allegations of the minister's involvement as defamatory. His attorney, Tebogo Malatji, called the claims "malicious, yet nonsensical utterances" and said Survé's attacks on Gordhan were unsubstantiated, without basis in any evidence or facts. Malatji did not immediately give additional comment on Saturday.
Earlier in the week, Survé also said he intended to sue the FSCA. The authority, in turn, has said it will defend itself if any such legal action is brought.
In an emailed response to questions from Fin24 on Friday, Survé said he had never implied that Ramaphosa was part of the raid.
However, he said, he had been "been presented with sufficient evidence to show that … Gordhan has had several meetings, and with numerous people, including FSCA officials that indicate he had a hand in the matter".
Asked what evidence he had to indicate this, he responded: "The evidence will be presented at the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum."
When asked about an apparent change in tone towards the president, after having said, publicly, that reporters in the Independent stable were intending to publish information on Ramaphosa ahead of the raid, Survé said editors and reporters had told him they had "sensitive information about several powerful high-ranking political figures" and had done so "as a matter of professional courtesy".
'The Prime Minister'
"Reporters have clarified this to confirm that their information pertains to Minister Gordan (often referred to as the Prime Minister)," he said.
He told Fin24 he was not at liberty to disclose any further information, as the journalists were required to protect their sources.
He also claimed the FSCA had misrepresented information to a judge, adding that "several of them pretended to be police officers" upon arrival at the premises for the raid. Staff were intimidated, Survé said.
On Friday, the Office of the Chief Justice issued a statement denying previous allegations by Survé that Judge PAL Gamble, who issued the warrants, was friends with Gordhan. Gamble said he had never met the minister.
The FSCA could not immediately be reached outside of normal office hours to respond to the latest allegations.
Survé said Sekunjalo had lodged a complaint with the FSCA regarding manipulation of the AYO share price by "asset managers and other parties […] yet we were the ones raided".
While the FSCA has not elaborated on the information it was seeking, according to Sekunjalo, the raid is related to AYO Technology Solutions, which listed on the JSE in 2017 after receiving a R4.3bn investment by state-owned asset manager the Public Investment Corporation. AYO is a subsidiary of a subsidiary of African Equity Empowerment Investments, which in turn is held by Sekunjalo.
The PIC earlier this year instituted a court application to claim back the R4.3bn, plus interest, that it had invested in AYO in 2017. AYO is opposing the claim.