The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have said they reject the defence of Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan by the governing African National Congress (ANC) veterans.
“The [EFF] rejects, with contempt, the lousy defence of Pravin Gordhan by the so-called struggle veterans; who have thrown out principle on the altar of self-enrichment for convenience,” the red berets said in a statement on Saturday.
This after the governing party’s stalwarts, veterans and its strategic dialogue group said they were appalled by the “political assault” on Gordhan.
“The so-called veterans have reduced themselves into a defence force of Pravin Gordhan, even in the face of his spectacular incompetence in the oversight and guidance of state-owned companies,” the EFF said.
The red berets accused Gordhan of bringing about “unprecedented levels of destabilisation, chaos through incompetent interferences and banishment of African leadership” in all state-owned companies (SOCs) under the minister’s portfolio.
The red berets alleged that “Gordhan’s interferences” have resulted in the following:
- Eskom is in a huge debt of more than R400 billion and losing the capacity to provide dependable electricity
- SAA is in a debt of more than R25 billion, has been handed over to a white-only team of business rescue and there is no foreseeable recovery
- Transnet’s capacity to reliably provide logistics to South Africa’s economy has been undermined. It has been more than a year that the group CEO has been fired and there have been no replacements to date, virtually everyone on the leadership team at Transnet is acting and therefore there is no full accountability
- SA Express has not been fully operational and will also be placed under business rescue without any believable recovery plan
- Alexkor received a disclaimer opinion and reported a loss of R149 million for the year 2018/2019. The board has been dissolved and an administrator appointed, despite this intervention, there are no signs of possible recovery.
- Safcol has not met any of its key performance areas with regards to financial sustainability for the financial year 2018/2019 and has received qualified reports two years consecutively
- Denel has also recorded more than R900 million losses and received disclaimer audit reports two years consecutively
The EFF said the aforementioned “anomalies” occurred under Gordhan’s “incompetent guidance” and the red berets accused the minister of intentionally wanting to collapse these SOCs “so that the white capitalist establishment he serves can take these over for nothing”.
“We are aware that Gordhan works with the capitalist establishment, has direct shares in almost all Stellenbosch companies, private banks, investment banks and stands to personally benefit from the destabilisation of [SOCs].”
The EFF said despite this ANC veterans “choose to sing for supper by defending” Gordhan.
The red berets said some of the governing party’s veterans serve on boards of companies of “the Stellenbosch mafia, particularly Remgro companies”.
“Some of these so-called veterans are historically associated with the United Democratic Front (UDF) cabal led by Pravin Gordhan and was used as an instrument to undermine real freedom fighters.”
The EFF said it maintains that Gordhan should be removed and cautioned President Cyril Ramaphosa “that if he defends” the minister “they will fall together”.
“The EFF does not make threats when it comes to the defence of our state-owned companies and institutions, we make commitments.”