Pravin Gordhan Eskom board

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says there’s “no risk whatsoever” of a total collapse of Eskom’s grid. Photo: GCIS

Pravin Gordhan: ‘I’m being targeted for exposing corruption’

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has made reference to several instances which he claims, point to him being victimised for trying to put an end to graft

Pravin Gordhan Eskom board

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan says there’s “no risk whatsoever” of a total collapse of Eskom’s grid. Photo: GCIS

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has essentially told the State Capture Commission that the reason some of his detractors have been gunning for him is because he has taken a firm stance against corruption.

Gordhan appeared before the commission virtually on Tuesday evening, 23 March 2021, where he had been cross-examined by advocate Dali Mpofu, on behalf of former SA Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane.

“There have been various dossiers over time. I do not even remember their names…That is part of the fake new industry as we know it today,” said Gordhan.

The minister’s legal counsel, advocate Michelle le Roux then asked him to elaborate. Gordhan cited a prior allegation made by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema, that he has an offshore bank account in Canada.

“Various allegations…All designed to smear my integrity and good standing in an attempt to mask the nefarious activities of various individuals,” he said.

When le Roux asked Gordhan why he thought he was being targeted, the minister replied:

“No idea, I’ve become popular for some reason. Clearly, exposing corruption and setting into motion controls that will limit the possibilities of corrupt activity in various institutions is getting in the way of people who are accepting cash”

Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Pravin Gordhan on Carl Niehaus and meeting the Guptas

Pravin Gordhan also made reference to a claim made by MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus that as finance minister, he had availed more funds for former public protector Thuli Madonsela to complete the state of capture report, which led to the establishment of the commission.

Gordhan labelled Niehaus’ allegation as a “complete distortion of the truth.”

“The truth of the matter was that she did request more money from the treasury. That money was not available. What the treasury often does with such requests and demands, if you like, is to actually help the people concerned…The director-general or minister would interrogate their own finances and see how they could make savings on the one hand, so that they can find the money to do whatever needs to be done,” he said.

Gordhan also touched on his interactions (or lack thereof) with the controversial Gupta family, saying:

“I have never engaged with the Guptas as the criminals in the state capture process have done. I have never been to their household, I have never met them on a one-on-one basis except for when I was forced to on one occasion when I visited president Zuma to discuss some other matter and one of the Gupta brothers happened to be there.”