Gordhan must answer to PP on ‘rogue unit’ allegations following Shivambu’s complaint

Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Neil McCartney

Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Neil McCartney

The matter was first investigated by Thuli Madonsela, who closed the case after submissions from the minister.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has subpoenaed Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan, his lawyers have confirmed.

The minister now has until April 24 to file an affidavit on allegations that he was involved in the establishment of a so-called “rogue unit” at Sars. This is due to a complaint from EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.

Gordhan’s attorney says he will ask for an extension, EWN has reported.

The matter was reportedly investigated by Mkhwebane’s predecessor, Thuli Madonsela, who closed the investigation following submissions from Gordhan. He similarly submitted information to the Hawks, after which they halted their investigation against him and did not prosecute.

Reports of a so-called “rogue-unit” set up by Pravin Gordhan first surfaced in The Sunday Times. These reports were found to be “inaccurate, misleading, and unfair” by the press ombudsman and the newspaper was forced to apologise.

READ MORE: ‘Dodgy’ new Sars boss Kieswetter’s appointment ‘nepotistic’, ‘corrupt’ – EFF

In 2015, the press ombudsman ruled that the Sunday Times must retract all stories on the “rogue unit saga” and to apologise to Pravin Gordhan as well as others implicated after Gordhan, former Sars deputy commissioner Ivan Pillay, and former Sars executive Johann van Loggerenberg lodged a complaint.

Then, last year, the Nugent inquiry into tax administration, which looked at the situation at Sars, found that the establishment of the unit was in fact legal, with former head of compliance at Sars Gene Ravele testifying that the unit did “important work” in busting criminal activities.

Despite this, the EFF has persisted in clinging to the “rogue unit” theory, including in a long rambling blog post by Shivambu, who also tweeted that the Sunday Times reports about the unit were “truthful” and shouldn’t have been withdrawn.

(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)

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