Mpofu accuses Gordhan of ‘treason’, ‘racism’ on behalf of Moyane

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/ African News Agency/ ANA

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/ African News Agency/ ANA

The minister’s lawyer, advocate Michelle le Roux, accused the former Sars boss of attempting to discredit her client.

Dali Mpofu made various allegations on behalf of his client – fired Sars boss Tom Moyane – about Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday, where he was applying for permission to cross-examine the minister.

The Citizen reported earlier on Wednesday that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has reserved his decision on Moyane’s application to cross-examine Minister Gordhan.

This follows a session at the commission in which both Mpofu and Gordhan’s legal representative, advocate Michelle le Roux, made several claims against’s the other’s client.

Mpofu suggested that Gordhan could be charged with treason based on Moyane’s submission to the inquiry, and brought up allegations of racism against Gordhan made in an affidavit submitted to the commission which the advocate said the minister “never challenged”. Mpofu rehashed a largely discredited narrative surrounding the minister’s supposed involvement in a Sars rogue unit.

READ MORE: Sars ‘rogue unit’ did important work, says ex-employee

Le Roux, meanwhile, said Moyane was trying to “discredit” Gordhan as it was election season, and accused him of coming to the commission under false pretenses – to rehabilitate the case against his dismissal at Sars, which he was unsuccessful in challenging legally, and to “resuscitate his career”, as well as to revive the supposed “rogue unit” debate.

In his report following the commission of inquiry into Sars, Judge Nugent found that the establishment of the so-called “rogue unit” was not unlawful.

The former head of compliance at Sars, Gene Ravele, told the commission that a so-called “rogue unit”, used to discredit Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and have him removed from his post as finance minister, was actually doing important work.

Reports in The Sunday Times regarding the “rogue unit” were found to be “inaccurate, misleading, and unfair” by the press ombudsman and the newspaper was forced to apologise.

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.

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