EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu took to Twitter to share a video clip of former SA Revenue Service (Sars) employee Keletso Manyike talking to JJ Tabane on Newzroom Afrika, which he offered as evidence that Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has “nowhere to hide”.
Manyike, a lawyer by profession, was the subject of a Sunday Times story where author Jacques Pauw alleged that Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s recently-released report accusing Gordhan of having violated the constitution through involvement in the so-called “rogue unit” at Sars was full of “blunders and missteps”.
Pauw apologised in an interview on 702 for his description of Manyike as an “unemployed, dope-smoking Rastafarian” after many questioned the relevance of the source’s employment, religion and alleged recreational activities to the story and accused the journalist of sensationalism.
Speaking on the same station, Manyike expressed his problems with the way he was depicted in the story.
After saying that he does not accept Pauw’s apology as his “name has been tarnished, my integrity has been attacked,” Manyike also said that he believes Mkhwebane’s report is “correct and to the point”.
Manyike maintained there was a rogue unit which had several “ghost members” and alleged that author Jacques Pauw’s report was an attempt to discredit the public protector’s office.
He did, however, concede that he had been incorrectly named in the report, as he himself was not a member of the alleged “rogue unit”.
“I was not there. That is incorrect. But in terms of content and context, it is correct. The allegations are correct and the commissioner was aware of it. It happened during his term as Sars Commissioner.”
The so-called “rogue unit” was an intelligence unit at Sars which Mkhwebane found in her report was unlawfully formed.
Manyike’s comments on 702 come after an interview on JJ Tabane’s show Your View where Manyike elaborated on the unit’s alleged “ghost workers” at Sars.
“These guys serve as a national research group. They kept on changing names but the staff remained. All those staff members, the one I’ve met and the other one, they had no less than 10 access cards with the same face but different names.
“Those staff members are called ghost workers because they’re not supposed to be seen.
“It was an undercover thing because someone told me he knew about the budget of the unit but had never seen a single employee of the unit,” he told Tabane.
Shivambu appears to relish Manyike’s statements, which not only implicated Gordhan but alleged that he spearheaded the unit.
Manyike said he and others asked Sars to appoint a commission of inquiry into the alleged “rogue unit” back in 2010.
“We then organised a march to the Union Buildings, but prior to that we went to Luthuli House to try and involve the office of the general secretary because we read in the media that Pravin Gordhan was going to be appointed minister and we said it can’t be, they must clear this thing [up]. We are very, very convinced that [the] rogue unit existed and he was spearheading it himself.”
The EFF has defended the report and accused Gordhan of employing tactics to derail the remedial action that is meant to be taken against him. Gordhan has lodged an urgent interdict to have Mkhwebane’s report set aside.
So the @SundayTimesZA “pot smoking and unemployed Rasta” which the Cabal STRATCOM Journalist tried to rubbish and distance from the Rogue Unit confirms that there was a Rogue Unit of ghost workers in SARS. Pravin has nowhere to hide now – Let’s go. pic.twitter.com/dnG7OeoLvl
— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) July 15, 2019
Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema has lodged a court application to intervene in Gordhan’s application to set aside Mkhwebane’s report on the rogue unit.
In an affidavit, Malema went to considerable lengths to explain why Mkhwebane found that Gordhan misled Parliament regarding his meeting with the Guptas, the Mail and Guardian reports.
“Remember, we’re talking about spying. If parliament intended Sars to have such extraordinary powers, it would have said so… intelligence is not the same as revenue collection, intelligence is serious business,” he said.