National 7.9.2016 05:51 pm

‘I stand here as an uncaptured individual’

FILE PHOTO: Minister Pravin Gordhan.  Photo: GCIS

FILE PHOTO: Minister Pravin Gordhan. Photo: GCIS

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has not pulled punches in parliament over the fact that it is ‘clear’ who has been capturing whom in government.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told the National Assembly he had not been captured by the Gupta family or anyone, for that matter and the “facts are fairly clear” about where the “influences” on government have been coming from.

The minister was responding to a question from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Floyd Shivambu about suggestions made by Eskom CEO Brian Molefe that perhaps the National Treasury had been captured by the controversial family, who have long been accused of having too much sway over the executive and the appointment of ministers.

“…I stand here as a free, uncaptured individual by anybody. Our job as the National Treasury is to serve South Africa as a whole, to ensure that all the legislation that is assigned to us by the president is dealt with in a fair and equitable manner. And to ensure all our decisions are in compliance with the law,” said Gordhan.

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Shivambu asked Gordhan: “There is a CEO of Eskom called Brian Molefe who is in the pockets of the Gupta family, they control him, they tell him what to do, when and how every day.

“He came here to parliament … to say, among other things, that maybe the Gupta family have captured the National Treasury. That’s what he said because National Treasury is the one that has preapproved hundreds of rands, which National Treasury paid into Tegeta resources to supply coal; the money was paid upfront.”

The embattled head of Treasury said he was not sure where Shivambu had received his information from about taxpayers’ money being abused to secure the utility’s coal deal with the Gupta-controlled company Tegeta Exploration and Resources.

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“So let’s be absolutely clear – it’s funny how in our society at the moment there is such a well-orchestrated campaign about who is captured by whom, when the facts are fairly clear about where the influences lie and what the purpose of these influences is and, it’s at the end of the day, advantaging certain groups of people to the disadvantage of 55 million citizens. Which is a concern of the National Treasury and the ministry of finance.”

Gordhan confirmed to the national legislature that Eskom had complied with Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s order that it submit outstanding documents to Treasury over its review of all state contracts above the value of R10 million.

“Eskom has delivered all the relevant reports and information required by the National Treasury. These reports were delivered on Tuesday the 30th of August 2016 at midnight. National Treasury is evaluating the reports and will soon be concluding this evaluation process.”

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