Pravin On A Witch Hunt To Purge Foes For Lackeys: EFF

Akuba Mokoena

SINCE returning to government in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet, having been reshuffled out of office by former President Jacob Zuma last year, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan has returned with gusto, sweeping through State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in a campaign seen by some as rooting-out corrupt officials, and by others as a witch hunt aimed at purging his foes in favour of replacing them with his lackeys.

In a statement commending the financial performance of Transnet, whose management is under scrutiny and three of whom have been suspended, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said it welcomed “Transnet’s annual financial results, which illustrate that the SOE’s net profit improved by 75% to R4.9 billion from R2.8 billion in the previous financial year. Transnet Chief Executive Officer SIyabonga Gama illustrated that Transnet exceptional financial results was due to an increase in railed export coal volumes, automotive volumes and port containers”. The Party attributed the positive results to the leadership at the SOE and warned that Minister of Public Enterprises “Pravin Gordhan wants to destroy through witch hunt and victimization of African leadership and executives in State Owned Companies and Government”.

The EFF said it had written to Ramaphosa and boards of state owned companies advising them not to “blindly follow the illegal and unlawful instructions of Pravin Gordhan to purge African leadership and Executives in SOCs so that he can replace them with lackeys. We have also cautioned about the deliberate efforts to cripple State Owned Companies in order to privatize them”.

Gama, in a separate statement, clarified “the extensive reporting on Transnet’s irregular expenditure for the 2017/18 year. Transnet’s results reflect a strong financial and operational performance for the year ended 31 March 2018.

“The rise in irregular expenditure results from the company undertaking a payments review. During this review Transnet identified payments against contracts which were not fully compliant with applicable procurement legislation, regulations, and/or internal policies.

“The expenditure reviewed relates to procurement events dating as far back as 2005/06, which were not previously identified and reported on. The irregular expenditure therefore spans several years and arises from procurement events undertaken in prior financial years”

Gordhan instituted a board shakeup at Transnet and Denel in May, appointing Popo Molefe as chairperson of the state freight company and Monhla Hlahla as the chairperson of the state arms manufacturer.

He has vowed the improve the governance and administration of state companies.

EFF’s beef with Gordhan


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