Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan violated the Executive Ethics Code when he deliberately misled the National Assembly, said the Public Protector. Picture: Bongani Shilubane

Pretoria - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan violated the Executive Ethics Code when he deliberately misled the National Assembly by failing to disclose that he had met a member of the controversial Gupta family since taking office.

“The allegation that Mr Gordhan violated the Executive Ethics Code by deliberately misleading the National Assembly in failing to disclose that he had met with a member of the Gupta family since taking office, is substantiated,” said Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said while addressing journalists in Pretoria.

“Mr Gordhan conceded to not having disclosed that he had actually met a member of the Gupta family and an associate of the family in 2010. He contended that at the time of his response to the parliamentary question he could not recall as he had forgotten about the meeting at which Mr Ajay Gupta was present.”

Mkhwebane said she had not bought Gordhan’s explanation, given in an affidavit to the State Capture Commission of Inquiry, alleging that the minister was only reminded of the meeting by his former chief of staff and current National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane.

“I find this rather implausible when one considers the prominence of the subject of state capture in South Africa,” said the public protector.

I therefore find that his conduct in this regard is in violation of paragraph 2 of the Executive Ethics Code and accordingly amounts to conduct that is inconsistent with his office as a member of Cabinet as contemplated by section 96 of the Constitution,” said Gordhan.

African News Agency (ANA)