Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema has criticised Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan for having shares in South African banks.
He was speaking on Monday afternoon at an EFF press conference at the party’s headquarters in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Malema alleges the finance minister has shares in Standard Bank, and other banks in the country. This, he says, negatively affects the minister’s objectivity in doing his official duties. He has raised the issue of conflict of interest and how it will be possible for Gordhan to monitor the banks if he has shares in them.
However, the EFF leader also says the Hawks’ “rogue unit” case will not stand legal muster against Gordhan. He says the investigation that should rather happen is that of the minister’s alleged share ownership.
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Malema, who also alleged that Gordhan was probably the man behind his SA Revenue Service cases years ago that saw Malema’s properties auctioned to pay off tax debts – which he further alleged Gordhan did in “trying to impress Zuma” – repeated his call that the minister should present himself to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, as requested. He said this would set a precedent for other members of the public to respect institutions of law.
“A minister of finance who has shares in all companies? Pravin must submit himself to the Hawks. Pravin has got himself to blame. I know Pravin did that to me [the Sars cases] when he wanted to impress Zuma. Pravin is a big problem and we will deal with that,” said Malema during his press briefing.
He added that the country could not find itself in the situation that, whenever you touched a minister, the markets responded negatively. He alleged that Gordhan and former finance ministers Trevor Manuel and Nhlanhla Nene were “agents of white capital”. This explained, he claimed, why the markets reacted negatively when something negative happened to the ministers. He said that if “the markets” wanted to get involved in politics, then those implicated in the shenanigans, such as billionaire Johann Rupert, should contest elections directly, and canvass for votes like political parties.
“Trevor [Manuel] has got shares. Nene has got shares. They are all captured. We can’t have a minister appointed by the markets.
“The ANC is in the hands of corrupt black capital and white capital.”