Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - While the EFF has supported the subpoena against Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, the party is being sued for defamation by former finance minister Trevor Manuel.

In a 201-page application against the EFF, its President Julius Malema and spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Manuel who is currently the chairperson of the Old Mutual Group details how Malema and Ndlozi had made spurious allegations against him.

According to Manuel, Ndlozi cited that when he (Manuel) chaired the selection panel for new Sars Commissioner, he conducted a clandestine and corrupt process which led to the appointment of Edward Kieswetter also adding the two were closely tied.

Manuel, in court papers, described the statement by the EFF as defamatory, adding it cast aspersion on his integrity and that of Kieswetter.

"Yet the allegations are without any basis in fact. They are integrity false. I am not related to Mr Kieswetter, nor is he my business associate. I acted lawfully, impartially and in the best interest of SARS while discharging my duties as chair of the panel," he said and added he had not displayed corruption or nepotism and that his sole purpose of bringing forth the court application is to protect his reputation and the integrity of the Panel and the National Treasury.

He said also said Malema and Ndlozi have not provided any evidence to their allegations.

EFF deputy President Floyd Shivambu has in the meantime said the party would allow Mkhwebane to continue with her work. 

"When people do not cooperate you subpoena them. Ours now is to hope that the public protector will conduct this probe in a proper and transparent manner," said Shivambu.

On Monday, Mkhwebane told Gordhan he was giving him until April 23 at 1pm to submit an affidavit and supporting evidence. 

This is in relation to allegations that he established an intelligence unit deemed to be in violation of the country's intelligence code during his tenure as Sars Commissioner in 2007.

It is also alleged that while he was finance minister, Gordhan instructed Sars to pursue the tax affairs of EFF President Julius Malema "without legal basis."

Other matters include the appointment of senior officials at Sars who lacked adequate qualifications, the awarding of a 12-year tender now worth R8 billion that is said to have led to fruitless and wasteful expenditure as well as claims Gordhan violated the executive code of conduct by deliberately misleading Parliament in failing to disclose that he had met with a member of the Gupta family since taking office. 

Gordhan confirmed this in his testimony before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

Political Bureau