By BO Staff Writer
Yesterday, 22 February 2017, Black First Land First (BLF) opened a criminal case against the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, for contravening the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act No12 of 2004 (PCCA), more specifically for contravening Section 34 of the act. BLF submits that Section 34 of PCCA confers a statutory duty on Pravin Gordhan to report alleged offences reported to him. To this end evidence supporting the case against Gordhan, which is contained in a sworn affidavit by BLF’s National Convener Andile Mngxitama, was handed to the South African Police (SAPS).
It is alleged that Pravin Gordhan, “in his capacity as Minister of Finance” is guilty of the offence of contravening Section 34 of PCCA in that he failed to report a crime that the Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, reported to him. The fact that Jonas had reported a crime to Pravin Gordhan forms part of the “State of Capture” report of the former Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela.
According to the said “State of Capture” report, Jonas’ evidence is that he was promised the position of Finance Minister by Ajay Gupta, which he declined and to this end indicated that it was only the President of the country who had the power to make decisions of that sort.
Jonas’ further testimony was that he was informed by the said Gupta that National Treasury was a hinderance to the ambitions of the Gupta businesses and that he would be therefore required as the Minister of Finance to fire “the current Director General of National Treasury and other key members of Executive Management”.
Furthermore, Jonas said that in exchange for the favors that were expected of him, he was offered a sum of R600 million which he refused and that upon Pravin Gordan becoming Minister of Finance, he informed him (Gordhan) of the aforesaid offer.
BLF has pointed out that “[t]his claim by Jonas has been presented in the mainstream media as evidence that corroborates the theory of “state capture by the Gupta family”.
Taken in its totality, Jonas’ evidence suggests that the offence of contravening section 4 of PCCA had been committed by Ajay Gupta; this alleged offence was reported by him to the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan; and that Pravin Gordhan subsequently did not report the said offence to the appropriate authority. BLF argues that the failure on the part of Pravin Gordhan to report the offence that was reported to him, in itself constitutes the offence of contravening Section 34 of PCCA on his part. To this end BLF has called for Gordhan to “be prosecuted to the full extent of the Law”.
There’s a strong suggestion by BLF that Pravin Gordhan is engaging in criminal activities and is accordingly not a fit and proper person to hold the office of Minister of Finance. This conclusion by the movement can be gleaned from its evidence as indicated above as well as from its papers in the High Court application (Gauteng Division, Pretoria) that it launched last year in terms of which it seeks relief for a declaratory order that there is a conflict of interest between Gordhan in his role as Minister of Finance and his role as shareholder in the major banks in South Africa.
To this end, Absa, First National Bank, Standard Bank and Nedbank are cited as the Second to the Fifth Respondent’s and the movement (in support of its call #PravinMustGo) is basically asking the Court to declare Gordhan conflicted, compromised and captured by white monopoly capital. The case is not yet finalised.
Read BLF’s full affidavit below:
AFFIDAVIT OF ANDILE MNGXITAMA
I the undersigned Andile Mngxitama, do hereby make oath and state:
1. I am the President and National Convener of the Black First Land First Movement (BLF), a political organisation situated at 22 Ponte Vicchio, Beyers Park, Boksburg.
The contents of this affidavit are, unless the context indicates otherwise, within my personal knowledge and are to the best of my knowledge both true and correct. The submissions of law that I make are based on the advice given to me by my legal team.
2. I am lodging a complaint and opening a case against the Minister of Finance, Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan whose registered office and principal place of business is 40 Church Street, Old Reserve Bank Building, 2nd Floor, Pretoria.
3. Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan, in his capacity as Minister of Finance has contravened Section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004) regarding his failure to report criminal activity that was reported to him by Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas as indicated in the “State of Capture” report of the Public Protector. To this end Mr Jonas has claimed that he was offered the position of Minister of Finance by a Gupta family member and that he rejected the offer “out of hand”. This claim by Mr Jonas has been presented in the mainstream media as evidence that corroborates the theory of “state capture” by the Gupta family. The claim made by Mr Jonas is elaborated in the following excerpt from the “State Capture” Report which indicates an “[i]nterview with Mr Jonas”:
“I interviewed the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Mcebisi Jonas (Mr Jonas) to establish facts regarding allegations that he was offered a Cabinet post by members of the Gupta family. He informed me of the following:
a) Mr Hlongwane, whom Mr Jonas knew very well as a comrade, initiated discussions with him about a meeting with Mr D. Zuma;
b) He agreed to the meeting although with reservations as he was aware that Mr D. Zuma was working with members of the Gupta family for financial gain;
c) He gave permission to Mr Hlongwane to provide his mobile number to Mr D. Zuma;
d) On 17 October 2015, he received several text messages from Mr D. Zuma;
e) The initial messages were about the invitation to attend the South African Awards Ceremony hosted by the Gupta family;
f) The event was scheduled for 18 October 2015 and Mr Jonas declined the invite due to his busy schedule;
g) On 23 October 2015, Mr Jonas agreed to meet with Mr D. Zuma;
h) The meeting started at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Rosebank;
i) Mr Jonas arrived early and waited for Mr D. Zuma;
j) Mr D. Zuma later arrived and a short while into the meeting, indicated that the place was crowded and he needed to move to a more private place for a discussion with a third party to which he agreed. The location was not disclosed to him;
k) Using Mr D. Zuma’s vehicle, they travelled together to what later Mr Jonas found to be the Gupta family residence in Saxonwold;
l) He was unfamiliar with the area and had never been to the Gupta family residence before;
m) They arrived at a “compound like residence” with security guards;
n) As they arrived, Mr Hlongwane alighted from his car to join them;
o) Once inside the residence, they were joined by Mr Ajay Gupta, whom Mr Jonas had never met before and recognised him from articles in the press);
p) During the meeting, there was no exchange of pleasantries. Mr Ajay Gupta informed him that they had been gathering intelligence on him and those close to him;
q) He apparently indicated that they were well aware of his activities and his connections to Mr Mantashe and the Treasurer of the ANC, Dr Zweli Mkhize (Dr Mkhize), alleging that he was part of a faction or process towards undermining President Zuma;
r) Mr Ajay Gupta informed Mr Jonas that they were going to make him Minister of Finance. Mr Jonas reported that he was shocked and irritated by the statement;
s) He declined the position and informed Mr Ajay Gupta that only the President of the Republic can make such decisions;
t) He informed of Mr Ajay Gupta that he was leaving. At no stage did Mr D. Zuma and At no stage did Mr D. Zuma and Mr Hlongwane speak during the meeting. They were told to sit down when I indicated that I was leaving;
u) Mr Ajay Gupta continued to speak. He disclosed names of “Comrades” they were working with and providing protection to. He mentioned that collectively as a family, they “made a lot of money from the State” and they wanted to increase the amount from R6 billion to R8 billion and that a bulk of their funds were held in Dubai;
v) According to Mr Jonas, Mr A. Gupta further indicated that National Treasury were a stumbling block to the family’s business ambitions. As part of the offer to become a Finance Minister, Mr Jonas would be expected to remove the current Director General of National Treasury and other key members of Executive Management;
w) Mr A. Gupta apparently mentioned that his family has made Mr D. Zuma a Billionnaire and that he has a house in Dubai;
x) As Mr Jonas was walking towards the door, Mr A. Gupta made a further offer of R600 million to be deposited in an account of his choice. He asked if Mr Jonas had a bag which he could use to receive and carry R600,000 in cash immediately, which he declined;
y) He then asked Mr D. Zuma and Mr Hlongwane to transport him to the airport. On the way to the airport, Mr Jonas apparently asked both Mr D. Zuma and Mr Hlongwane to explain why he was not informed that he would be meeting with members of the Gupta family. They all agreed to meet the following Tuesday to discuss the issue and the meeting never took place;
z) He later contacted Mr Hlongwane to inform him of his unhappiness about the meeting;
a) Immediately after the meeting, he informed former Minister of Finance Mr Nhlanhla Nene. I later also informed current Minister of Finance Mr Pravin Gordan and Mr Zweli Mkhize of the ANC about the offer; and
b) On 16 March 2016, he released a statement after the media started reporting on the matter” (see link: http://saflii.org/images/329756472-State-of-Capture.pdf)
4. In terms of the above interview “Mr Ajay Gupta informed Mr Jonas that they were going to make him Minister of Finance” and “[a]s part of the offer to become a Finance Minister, Mr Jonas would be expected to remove the current Director General of National Treasury and other key members of Executive Management”. To this end, an “offer of R600 million” was made to Mr Jonas by Mr Ajay Gupta.
5. Mr Jonas further informed Mr Pravin Gordan about the offer, upon him becoming Minister of Finance.
6. It appears from the above interview the offence of contravening section 4 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004) had been committed when Mr Jonas was offered a Cabinet position and money in exchange for certain favours as indicated above. The fact that the alleged offence was reported to Pravin Gordhan who in turn did not report it to the appropriate authority, is in itself an offence committed by him
7. In terms of section 34 of the said Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, any person holding a position of authority and “who knows of or ought reasonably to have known or suspected that any other person has committed an offence” is obliged to “report such knowledge or suspicion to any police official”. To this end, any “person who holds a position of authority” has this “this duty to report”. This “person” is defined in the Act as someone holding a public or a quasi public office.
8. Pravin Gordhan accordingly had the Statutory duty under section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 o f 2004, to report the alleged offence reported to him.
9. The South African Police Services (SAPS) are urged to investigate this matter, to prosecute Pravin Gordhan to the full extent of the Law and to do all that may be necessary to ensure that true justice is obtained. Regarding any other offence committed by the Minister of Finance, that relates to the particulars of the complaint herein, which has not been mentioned here – Pravin Gordhan must also be prosecuted for it
10. This affidavit is made in support of the criminal case opened by BLF against the Minister of Finance for the offence(s) as indicated above.