Former Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan. File picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said that Statistics South Africa is not exempt from state capture. 

Gordhan and former Deputy Finance minister Mcebisi Jonas warned South Africans about this possibility at the Morningstar Investment Conference held in Cape Town.

It should be noted that Statistician-General Pali Lehohla will retire as the head of StatsSA this month. Gordhan and Jonas believe that if his replacement is part of state capture, then the country could see fake statistics on inflation rates in order to strengthen the agenda of those in power.

An example of this was seen in Argentina, where government agencies issued false inflation figures in 2007. The economist reported that Argentina reported that the country’s inflation rate was at 10%, even though in reality it was 25%.

“Those are distortions which South Africa is not known for and must not enter our scene,” said Gordhan. “We seldom think it can be a problem, but imagine it pushes out stats that are false,” said Jonas.

Gordhan believes that StatsSA is not top of the list in the state capture agenda. “The Financial Intelligence Centre and the SA Reserve Bank are also higher up on the list.”

Moreover Gordhan emphasised that every action by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba must be watched. 

“Every step taken by Gigaba has to be watched very carefully. Keep asking, why is this happening?” “There needs to be a focus on the PIC CEO,” Gordhan said. “Vigilance is important."