Austil Mathebula
3 minute read
6 Apr 2017
4:45 pm

Cronin slates Zuma’s ‘bizarre’ reasons for Gordhan sacking

Austil Mathebula

He says the SACP has referred the 'bogus' intelligence report to the inspector-general of intelligence for investigation.

FILE PICTURE: Deputy Public Works Minister and SACP deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin. Picture by Michel Bega

SA Communist Party (SACP) deputy general secretary Jeremy Cronin has lambasted the so-called intelligence report that President Jacob Zuma used to justify Pravin Gordhan’s sacking.

The report, which Gordhan called “absolute nonsense”, alleged that Gordhan, his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas, and former National Treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile were involved in a conspiracy to undermine the economy of the country.

Cronin said the SACP referred the “bogus” intelligence report to the inspector-general of intelligence for investigation – this, he says, so that those responsible for it could be exposed.

Speaking during the commemoration of fallen anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on Thursday, Cronin took a swipe at the ANC’s national working committee for failing to explain what led to the so-called “irretrievable breakdown of the Zuma-Gordhan relationship”, which Zuma has partly used as a reason for the minister’s sacking.

“It was also in this bilateral meeting of Monday last week that we heard for the first time of the so-called intelligence report alleging treasonable activities on the part of comrade PG [Pravin Gordhan]. We immediately questioned its status and provenance.

“The SACP has now referred this bogus report to the inspector-general of intelligence, requesting that its origin be investigated and that those responsible are exposed.

“The national working committee has now said that it was a mistake for the so-called intelligence report to have been the basis for the abrupt and clumsy recall from London of comrade Pravin Gordhan, Jonas and the outgoing DG Lungisa Fuzile. That’s not good enough … to just say it was a mistake.”

Intelligence report’s ‘Gupta links’

It has since emerged that the compiler of the controversial report has close links to the Gupta family and has been a regular guest and analyst on Gupta-owned TV network ANN7.

According to News24, Zehir Omar, a lawyer for the Society for the Protection of our Constitution, allegedly received confidential and highly sensitive information that Gordhan and Jonas were set to meet with international finance firms to push for a change in government.

This, also, substantiates allegations made by EFF leader Julius Malema, who said the report was compiled by a former employee of the controversial Gupta family.

“The man who compiled the report was employed by the Guptas to work on cleaning up the image of the family and its companies. His stance was that he cannot attend to the family without fixing Zuma’s image, and that was how it all came about. He is responsible for the many fake news [sic] you see online in a desperate attempt to clean Zuma’s image,” Malema said outside the Constitutional Court after his party submitted an application seeking a directive to Parliament to take action against Zuma, including impeachment.

Meanwhile, former energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, former transport minister Dipuo Peters and former deputy finance minister Jonas have resigned from parliament.

However, former tourism minister Derek Hanekom indicated that he intended staying on as a member of parliament, despite having been sacked by Zuma as the minister.