EFF reports Gordhan to Public Protector for 'lying to Parliament'
Johannesburg - The EFF is gunning for Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan with the party announcing that it has reported the minister to the Public Protector for lying to Parliament.
The party's complaint stems from a question it had posed in Parliament to Gordhan in 2016 regarding whether any of National Treasury's staff members had met with the Gupta family.
In his response, Gordhan denied such a meeting, the EFF said in a statement issued on Thursday.
"The National Treasury is not aware of any officials from the level of director general downwards to have met with persons mentioned in the Parliamentary question during the period from January 2009 and December 31 2015," Gordhan's reply read.
But the EFF has accused him of lying after Gordhan's affidavit to the state capture inquiry was leaked to the media. The statement details Gordhan's recollection of various instances where he met some of the Gupta brothers. Gordhan fingers former president Jacob Zuma in his statement, saying he was introduced to Ajay Gupta by him while he had served as finance minister during the period of 2009 and 2014.
Gordhan also writes that he fought off efforts by one of the Gupta brothers for him to meet the family at their compound in Saxonwold.
But it was the revelation that Gordhan had met with an Indian businessman, who had an interest in buying a stake in MTN, that has rattled the EFF.
The party said he was not honest about this meeting and that he should have revealed this information as part of his answer to the party's question in Parliament.
Gordhan violated the executive ethics code and his oath of office when he lied to parliament, said the EFF.
Now the EFF wants Public Protector Busiswe Mkhwebane to investigate the matter.
"As a body that is legislatively mandated with investigations of members of the executive who violate the executive code of ethics, the office of the Public Protector should investigate the fact that Pravin Gordhan lied to Parliament by not disclosing the meeting he held with Ajay Gupta to discuss MTN business dealings. The executive ethics code forbids members of the executive from misleading Parliament," said the EFF.
"It is absolutely impossible that Pravin Gordhan was not aware that he held a meeting with Ajay Gupta and claiming amnesia even now is opportunistic and further misleading of the people of South Africa."
Gordhan is expected to testify at the inquiry next week. He has expressed his unhappiness that his statement was leaked to the media ahead of the appearance. He has declined to comment on the statement he submitted to the commission.IOL