ANC backs Gordhan in SARS scandal

The African National Congress has noted the reports in the media concerning the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan and issues related to the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

The political party said it has full confidence in Gordhan, while rumours have been circulating that the Hawks were preparing to charge former senior SARS officials along with the minister, who has been fingered as the mastermind behind a “rogue unit”.

“It is the view of the ANC that the complex and difficult work that has been done by the President and Minister since December to date, including during the Budget Speech, have restored the confidence of our people in the economy and brought about stability,” said
ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe in a statement on Friday.

“The ANC commends Minister of Finance and his team for the hard work and the energy that they invested thus far. We further reiterate our full confidence in the Minister and his team for the work they continue to do,” Mantashe said.

He said that it was unfortunate that there are now initiatives that are intended to undermine this work, “reverse the gains our economy has made and have a destabilizing effect in the long term”.

It was reported that Hawks sent a letter to Gordhan before his budget speech in an attempt to establish his ‘culpability’ in the establishment of the ‘rogue unit’.

Mantashe said that the ANC was “extremely concerned” that four days before the Minister delivered the Budget Speech, questions from the Hawks were sent to the Minister.

“The timing of these questions indicates clearly that there was intention to distract the Minister during this important time. It is even more disconcerting that these questions were leaked to the media. In our view this is a well calculated destabilization plan with all the elements of disinformation, falsehoods and exaggerated facts,” Mantashe said.

The ANC said it that it has reliable information on the individual leaking information to the media and will be engaging the person in this regard.

“In the event that the Hawks have anything to investigate related to the Minister and SARS, it would be in the best interest of our country if they did so professionally, using the correct channel and procedures and not seek to conduct a trial through the media,” the ANC secretary general said.

Gordhan is reported to have threatened to quit Cabinet on the eve of the budget speech –  Business Day said on Friday, citing several sources.

Gordhan sent an ultimatum to President Jacob Zuma last week calling for the resignation of South African Revenue Service (SARS) commissioner Tom Moyane.

“Moyane must go or I must go,” Gordhan allegedly told the president.

Moyane led an investigation into an alleged ‘rogue unit’ at SARS, which reportedly used illegal methods to gather information.

In a report, commissioned by Moyane and conducted by KPMG, Gordhan is fingered as the person responsible.

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ANC backs Gordhan in SARS scandal