Good will tri­umph over evil – Gord­han

Post - - News - CHANELLE LUTCHMAN

GET in­volved in any way you can to stop the rot that is help­ing to de­stroy South Africa. That’s the mes­sage from axed fi­nance min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han.

It was only through cit­i­zens ques­tion­ing du­bi­ous de­ci­sions and of­fi­cials that change could take place, Gord­han, 68, said in Khar­wastan, Chatsworth, at the week­end.

He was the key­note speaker at the Khar­wastan Civic As­so­ci­a­tion’s 50th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions and sat for a live in­ter­view with Lo­tus FM’s News­break pro­gramme.

“I re­main hope­ful that good will tri­umph over evil, but it won’t be by us just fold­ing our arms and sit­ting down; we have to be­come ac­tive cit­i­zens,” Gord­han said.

“Get in­volved in some kind of way. Don’t ex­pect any­thing to hap­pen with­out there be­ing pub­lic aware­ness and pub­lic pres­sure be­cause it’s the pub­lic pres­sure that will make peo­ple be­come ac­count­able and not give peo­ple the space in those in­sti­tu­tions to con­tinue with the kind of naugh­ti­ness that they are up to now.”

Gord­han is widely thought to have paid the price of try­ing to con­tain and fight gov­ern­ment cor­rup­tion when he was re­moved as fi­nance min­is­ter in March. Among other things, he was ac­cused of know­ing about a so-called “rogue spy unit” at Sars, which he had once led as com­mis­sioner.

More to come

Hours be­fore Satur­day’s event, KPMG, the au­dit­ing and ad­vi­sory firm whose re­port on the unit ap­par­ently had a hand in the down­fall of Gord­han, as well as some se­nior Sars of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing former deputy com­mis­sioner Ivan Pil­lay, with­drew the re­port and rec­om­men­da­tions.

Gord­han de­scribed the with­drawal and KPMG’s apol­ogy to him as a “half-hearted so-called re­gret” and asked South Africans to brace them­selves for what’s to come over the next few days.

“They have to go a long, long way to own up to what ac­tu­ally hap­pened be­tween their se­nior foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tors and the Sars man­age­ment from 2015,” he said.

“We will talk about that in the next 10 days. There’s a lot more to come out.”

Said Gord­han: “My lawyers are look­ing at the re­port, as are the lawyers for other peo­ple. Re­mem­ber that as a re­sult of what KPMG did, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Sars man­age­ment, if you leave the Gupta story aside, you’ve af­fected the liveli­hoods, the jobs, the in­come se­cu­rity of a num­ber of se­nior peo­ple.

“Some of them have given 30 or 40 years of their life to the lib­er­a­tion Strug­gle as well. They don’t de­serve this in a democ­racy. And some­body has to pay a price for that.”

Cap­ture

Sars com­mis­sioner Tom Moy­ane has since de­nied the re­port was faulty, de­scrib­ing KPMG’s ac­tions in with­draw­ing it as “ab­hor­rent, un­eth­i­cal and un­pro­fes­sional”.

Sars had been left with no op­tion but to con­sider fol­low­ing the le­gal route and in­sti­tut­ing le­gal pro­ceed­ings against KPMG for rep­u­ta­tional dam­age, he said.

Be­sides dis­cussing KPMG, Gord­han also took an ap­par­ent swipe at the con­tro­ver­sial Gupta fam­ily, who are close friends of Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and who have been ac­cused of “cap­tur­ing” state en­ti­ties to ben­e­fit fi­nan­cially.

With­out nam­ing the fam­ily, he asked: “Are the re­sources in the coun­try for bank ac­counts in Dubai or are they for money to be spent for peo­ple in South Africa?”

With re­cent emails hav­ing sur­faced de­tail­ing the ex­tent of state cap­ture, Gord­han said ev­ery­body was be­gin­ning to find out what was hap­pen­ing.

“The only ques­tion is: is it the peo­ple who are ex­pos­ing and op­pos­ing cor­rup­tion who are go­ing to be threat­ened, in­tim­i­dated and pur­sued by law en­force­ment agen­cies or is it the cor­rupt who are tak­ing your tax money ev­ery day and abus­ing it for the wrong pur­pose who are go­ing to be pur­sued and dealt with in a way they should be dealt with in a proper democ­racy?” he said.

Mean­while, Gord­han said he would be back­ing Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC leader at the party’s elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber.

“I think Mr Ramaphosa has the lead­er­ship abil­ity that we re­quire and he has the skills and busi­ness know-how and he un­der­stands the ANC, which he’s been part of for many years. Those are the qual­i­ties we re­quire,” he said.

Speak­ing of his re­la­tion­ship with the pres­i­dent, Gord­han said that while he had known Zuma since 1974, he was dis­ap­pointed, not only by how some ANC mem­bers had been treated, but also be­cause Zuma did not stop some of the “in­jus­tices” they were ex­posed to.

Gord­han, how­ever, said he re­mained hope­ful for a bet­ter South Africa.

PIC­TURE: ZANELE ZULU

Pravin Gord­han is in­ter­viewed on Lo­tus FM’s News­break.

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