The following statement was previously published in the Black First Land First website and is now reissued by Black Opinion:
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Julius Malema insulted President Zuma when he removed Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance. They called Gordhan the hope of South Africa (SA) and gave him a standing ovation for his neo liberal budget speech. Black First Land First (BLF) had taken several important and systematic actions against Pravin Gordhan. Again, Julius called BLF names in defence of Gordhan. Not one of the allegations against Gordhan are new.
The EFF is duplicating programs already undertaken by BLF. The question is, why now? BLF believes that Julius and the EFF are acting in defence of corruption after looting VBS Mutual Bank. Gordhan failed to protect them as they had hoped. Now they are opportunistically opening cases that have already been opened by the BLF.
BLF calls on Julius and the EFF to confess to looting VBS Mutual Bank and to pay back the money of poor blacks including widows, orphans and pensioners now!
Actions taken by BLF
Here’s a chronology of actions already taken by BLF against Pravin Gordhan:
1. 31 March 2016: criminal charges instituted against Johan Rupert and 8 others at the Hillbrow Police Station for state capture (case number: 39/4/2016).
The following is a full list of perpetrators:
1. SA Businessman and Chairman of Richemont , Johann Rupert
2. Barclays Africa Group Chief Executive Officer, Maria Ramos;
3. Goldman Sachs’ South Africa head Colin Coleman;
4. Investec Bank’s global CEO, Stephen Koseff;
5. Imperial Holdings’ CEO, Mark Lamberti;
6. Sanlam CEO, Ian Kirk;
7. Business Leadership South Africa chairperson, Bobby Godsell;
8. Toyota Europe CEO, Johan van Zyl
9. First Rand CEO, Johan Burger
The criminal case involved the contravention of section 4 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004) in that they have illegally interfered with the duties of the President to appoint ministers in terms of the Constitution. More specifically the case relates to the firing of Des Van Rooyen and hiring of Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance which in turn amounted to state capture by white monopoly capital
2. On 27 October 2016: High Court application of BLF against Pravin Gordhan (Gauteng Provincial Division, case number 83550/16)
On 27 October 2016, BLF lodged an High Court application (Gauteng Division, Pretoria Case Number: 83550/16) to inter alia declare Pravin Gordhan conflicted, compromised and captured by white monopoly capital as Minister of Finance in that he has shares in the various businesses including banks that have been responsible for firing Des van Rooyen and hiring him as Minister of Finance. We asked that he be consequently declared not a fit and proper person to hold office as Minister of Finance and of any other public office.
The issues raised in this case launched by BLF relates to a large extent to the High Court case instituted by Gordhan in the Gauteng Provincial Division under case number 80978/16 for an order that he is “not by law empowered or obliged to intervene in the relationship” between the four major banks and Oakbay regarding the closure of the Oakbay bank accounts.
The decision in the latter case went against Gordhan during August 2017.. He was also ordered to pay the costs for the Court application from his own pocket. We remember that this application was brought on the same day when attempts to release the report of the former Public Protector, Thuli Mandonsela, on the last day of her tenure via the Court had failed. So Gordhan’s application was intended to divert attention from the fact that the Public Protector’s report, which was expected to serve the agenda of imperialism by removing President Zuma and replacing him with Cyril Ramaphosa, had effectively been interdicted. The fact that the decision went against Gordhan will not serve to liquidate the need to address BLF’s claim that Gordhan was unable to investigate or inquire into the conduct of the 4 major banks that closed the Oakbay accounts because he has business interests in them.
Gordhan was fired as Minister of Finance on 31 March 2017, before the finalization of BLF’s High Court Application against him.
3. 27 October 2016: Fees Must Fall March to Parliament
On 27 October BLF participated in Fees Must Fall protest march to Parliament for Free Education. It’s mobilizing and organizing slogan was #PravinMustGo and #26billion. To this end it lead a protest action inside parliament and was later forcibly removed by parliament security for disrupting Gordhan’s mid term budget speech in terms of which he didn’t provide any solution for free education.
4. 29 November 2016: Picket at SAA Headquarters
On 29 November 2016 BLF held a picket at the SAA Head Quarters to protest the illegal conduct of Minister Pravin Gordhan who had signed a deal with Bain & Co (a business owned by Coleman Andrews) to privatise 25% of the SAA and to this end had directed the Board to effect his decision. BLF has already asked for a Commission of Inquiry into the conduct of the same Coleman Andrews who looted SAA and bankrupted it. In this regard BLF has written an urgent letter to the Board and to the State President Zuma asking them to halt the illegal instruction from Gordhan.
5. 22 Feb 2017: charge laid against Pravin Gordhan at Hillbrow Police Station for corruption (case number 694/2/2017)
A charge was laid against Pravin Gordhan for contravening 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 and money in exchange for certain favours, by a Gupta family member and that he rejected the offer “out of hand”. 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
Pravin Gordhan accordingly had the statutory duty under section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004, to report the alleged offence reported to him.
6. 16 June 2017: BLF laid criminal charge(s) against the former Ministers of Finance, Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan and Nhlanhla Musa Nene for 21 offences. (Hillbrow reference number is, CAS 492/6/2017)
The charges against Gordhan and Nene relate to each of them covering up and or being complicit in the offences and irregularities – committed by their respective Deputy Ministers of Finance, Director Generals, Executive Officers, Audit Committees, departmental officials working within the National Treasury who are working with or within the the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) project, Accounting Officers, Project Management Office, Procurement Department and Chief Financial Officer in the National Treasury – as indicated in the leaked Internal Audit Report. These offences and irregularities include:
a. Failure to report irregular, wastefull, fruitless, and unauthorized expenditure as legislated in the Public Finance Management Act No 1 of 1999 as amended (PFMA)
b. Failure to safeguard public funds,and state assets
c. Financial misconduct with regards to the following:
i. Contravention of section 86 (1) PFMA for willful or gross negligence on the part of an accounting officer, in that s/he failed to comply with a provision of section 38, 39 or 40.
ii. Contravention of section 86 (2) PFMA for willful or gross negligence on the part of an accounting authority in that s/he failed to comply with a provision of section 50, 51 or 55; and
iii. Contravention of section 86 (3) PFMA for unauthorized loans or entering into a binding financial contract without permission on behalf of a department, public entity or constitutional institution.
d. Failure to perform fiduciary duties as vested in terms of the PFMA and other applicable legislation
e. Failure to comply with the Procurement Act
f. Dereliction of duties
g. Willfully allowing fraudulent activities and transactions to be conducted within the National Treasury
h. Participating and benefitting in fraudulent accounting,and financial transactions
i. Irregular expenditure
j. Unauthorised transactions and expenditure
k. Fruitless expenditure
l. Wasteful expenditure
m. Fraud and corruption
n. Looting State coffers
o. Failure to take appropriate action against officials and companies engaged/involved in conducting fraudulent activities, financial mismanagement, corruption, illegal siphoning of funds as highlighted in the IFMS Internal Audit Report.
p. Failure to disclose irregularities and Financial Misconduct within the National Treasury Department.
q. Gross violation of the PFMA with specific emphasis to sections dealing with:
i. Procurement and provisioning
ii. Internal controls
iii. Safeguarding of assets and liabilities of the State
iv. Good governance
v. Financial management
vi.. Financial reporting
vii.. Financial planning, financial accounting,
r. Irregularly awarding contract to work friends, business associates, relatives without following proper tender procedures
s. Failure to disclose gross financial misconduct to the Auditor General, Parliamentary Committee, Parliament – as prescribed in the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) and required by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) which the PFMA and Treasury Regulations have prescribed to be an accounting Standard that in turn must be followed by National Treasury as a Government Department and an Accounting Institution.
t. Covering up the financial misconduct, fraud,corruption and all other irregularities as cited on the Internal Audit Report.
u. Contravention of Section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004) regarding his failure to report criminal activity and irregularities that were reported to Treasury.
7. 26 June 2017: call to remove Gordhan from parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance and parliament
BLF asked the parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in a letter to remove former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, from the committee and parliament. This was in response to the appearance of the South African Airways board chairperson, Dudu Myeni, before the Committee to brief it on its quarterly report on 27 October 2017.
BLF submitted written evidence to the Committee which suggests that Gordhan is “conflicted, compromised and captured by white settler monopoly capital”, and therefore he cannot be impartial in such committee hearings.
In a bid to further privatise SAA, BLF pointed out that Gordhan will try to “harangue the Chairperson of the SAA Board so as to create a crisis that will precipitate the situation towards them privatizing SAA.”
BLF further pointed out that Gordhan wants to remove Myeni for the benefit of white monopoly capital and that the Committee cannot continue with him there because of this fact.To this end in late November 2016 Gordhan instructed the Board of SAA to allow the American consulting firm, Bain & Company, to “turn around” SAA by, amongst other things, privatizing 25% of the said entity.
8. Pension Fund corruption and theft by Gordhan
On 26 June 2017 BLF asked the parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in a letter to remove former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, from the committee and parliament. One of the reasons for his removal relates to a leaked HAWKS memorandum dated 17 March 2017 which revealed conclusive evidence of corruption and theft of R11 million by Pravin Gordhan from the Special Pension Fund at the Department of Defence and Military Veterans.
The Special Pension Fund excludes public officials from benefitting from it and Gordhan, who was a public official at the time of the coming into effect of the fund, illegally benefited millions from it. Gordhan received the said millions from the then Head of the Pensions Fund, Marion Mbina Mthembu, who subsequently corroborated this allegation in a meeting with the HAWKS on 15 December 2016. In this regards the HAWKS were referred by Mthembu to Kabelo Jonathan of the Government Pension Administration Agency (GPAA).
BLF indicated to the parliamentary Standing Committee on finance that the evidence against Gordhan in this regard suggests that he is criminally liable and to this end should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
9. On 19 November 2018, BLF engaged in protest action against Pravin Gordhan at the commission of inquiry into state capture in Parktown calling for Gordhan to resign as the public enterprises ministers or the same reasons that he was asked to resign as Minister of Finance.
BLF will be lodging the following submissions to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on State Capture shortly:
1. Corruption by Johann Rupert and 8 others regarding the firing of Des Van Rooyen and hiring of Pravin Gordhan as Minister of Finance.
2. Role and interests of Pravin Gordhan in facilitating state capture.
3. Disappearance of over R4.3 billion during tenures of Pravin Gordhan and Nhlanhla Nene amounts to state capture by white monopoly capital.
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
27 November 2018
Deputy President: Zanele Lwana
National Spokesperson: Lindsay Maasdorp
Cell: +27 79 915 2957
Head of Media & Communications: Brian Tloubatla
Cell: +27 82 216 7664