National 29.8.2016 11:51 am

‘White settler appointee Pravin Gordhan must go’

Andile Mngxitama (File Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem)

Andile Mngxitama (File Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Theana Breugem)

The BLF thinks the minister is colluding with ‘white monopoly capital’.

Leader of political party Black First Land First (BLF) Andile Mngxitama called on Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan to resign on Monday.

His views were largely swimming against popular opinion and caused some commotion on social media.

The party says the minister’s alleged links to “white monopoly capital” have compromised his position as the finance minister, as he is supposed to cater for the needs of “poor black people”.

The BLF says Gordhan’s alleged links with tycoon Johann Rupert will “compromise” him in catering for the needs of the poor. Rupert is a chairman of listed company Compagnie Financiere Richemont. Accorging to Forbes, he owns a 7% stake in Remgro and 25% of Reinet, an investment holding company based in Luxembourg that has a stake in British American Tobacco, among other businesses. In South African politics, he’s seen by some as the face of “white monopoly capital”.

The BLF, in particular, has a problem with him, going as far as to storm the Office of the Public Protector last month in a case in which they allege she failed to investigate billions that Rupert and others allegedly stole from government pre-1994.

BLF argues that Gordhan’s appointment after the sacking of former finance minister Des van Rooyen after the latter was in the job for four days was the work of white monopoly capital. They allege Gordhan “arrogantly” refused to present himself to the Hawks, after the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation summoned him in relation to the so called rogue unit set up at the SA Revenue Service when Gordhan was the tax commissioner.

Upon receiving legal advice, Gordhan refused to avail himself before the unit, saying, “I am advised that I am under no legal obligation to present myself to the Hawks as directed in their letter.”

BLF national spokesperson Zanele Lwana told The Citizen: “We had maintained that from his appointment – it was a campaign driven by white monopoly capital. He has arrogantly refused to appear before the Hawks.

“Black people are poor because of the white settlers who have stolen our land. Gordhan can’t be trusted because of his links to white monopoly capital. He is compromised by his links with Johann Rupert.”

Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema also has a theory that seems to support that of the BLF. While predicting that predicting that the finance minster would be arrested, Malema also alleged that Gordhan had shares in South African banks, questioning how he could be expected to monitor the banks if he had shares in them.

“The finance minister is going to be arrested,” said Malema, to the sound of some people giggling in the background in disbelief.

“Zuma appointed Van Rooyen as a minister of finance. He got into trouble … business put pressure [on Zuma] to remove Van Rooyen and put Pravin. And when Zuma put Pravin, Zuma’s people came to me and said we don’t want Pravin, and we know you guys don’t want Pravin. So please write questions to the president, so that the president can answer genuinely and honestly. So that we create [a] cloud around Pravin. And we said we are not going to be part of that.

“And I was informed last week that the Guptas came back for their liquidation case. And they told the liquidators not to worry about liquidation because Pravin is going to be arrested, and once Pravin is arrested, then he’s going to be removed because the argument will be … we cannot have a minister who’s facing serious charges as a minister of finance.

“Pravin has got shares in all the banks. How can he regulate the banks if he’s got shares himself. He is not our favourite, but we are happy that there’s some sort of stability. We have to choose between two devils. One devil is called Pravin; the other devil is called Van Rooyen. Therefore, Pravin is a better devil.”

Here are Mngxitama’s tweets:

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