EFF calls for Gordhan’s removal over SARS ’rogue unit'
THE EFF has called for the removal of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan’s removal from the cabinet for his alleged involvement in the establishment and existence of the SARS Rogue Unit which they claim was used as a weapon against Gordhan’s political opponents.
Calls by the EFF for Gordhan’s removal from cabinet come after his appearance before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture where he was placed under a microscopic lens by Advocate Dali Mpofu who was cross examining Gordhan at the behest of former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane.
During the day-long cross examination Gordhan admitted there had been a unit at SARS, however he said that it had been aimed at investigating the smuggling of cigarettes and other illicit trades in the country.
The EFF’s national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said that Gordhan’s admission of the existence of the unit, despite his claims that it was to investigate illicit trade, was groundbreaking and reveals that Gordhan is a man characterised by “untruthfulness and thuggery”.
“At the Zondo Commission, Gordhan conceded under cross examination and under oath, that a unit was initially to be under the jurisdiction of the National Intelligence Agency, found place within SARS and was designed to survey and trace activities of persons covertly.
“This admission comes after a long drawn-out campaign by Gordhan, members of the media and allies of Gordhan, namely Johan Van Loggenberg and current Commissioner of SARS Edward Kieswetter, to dismiss credible reports that indeed a mafia run unit existed with SARS, outside the realms of law and auspices of any intelligence agency and regulations,” said Pambo.
He said that if there was truth in Gordhan’s assertions that the unit had been created to serve a surveillance purpose for SARS in partnership with the NIA, it therefore was constituted with SARS to serve a similar purpose.
“The EFF calls for the immediate removal of Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan from cabinet on charges of espionage for his role in turning SARS into a spy unit. His actions represent a breach of our democracy, by a thug who manipulates the resources of the state to serve his personal interests.
“Furthermore, the EFF will be reporting Gordhan to the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, for lying to Parliament about meeting with the Guptas, essentially breaching his oath of office. Gordhan’s continued presence in the executive of the country represents a rot in the highest offices of the land that must be removed.
“He remains a bacteria to the democratic fabric of this country and is currently leading the greatest capture of our state institutions to facilitate their sale to his friends and cronies,” added Pambo.
Gordhan's spokesperson Richard Mantu and ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe have not yet responded to written requests for comment on the EFF’s call for Gordhan's removal.